To that end, the state has filed 10 lawsuits in counties across Nebraska: Platte, Scotts Bluff, Hall, Madison, Lancaster, Sarpy, Lincoln, Saline, Keith, and Dawes counties.
The complaints were filed against the following businesses, noting that some do have locations in multiple counties:
The Cannabis Factory (Lancaster County)
50 Shades of Green (Sarpy)
Greenhouse Grandma (Dawes)
High Flow Cannabis (Hall)
First Stop Vape Shop (Keith)
A Botanical Dream (Lincoln)
Kynd Co. Vape and Smoke (Madison)
Chasing Clouds Vape Collective (Platte)
Ms. Vape Shop (Saline)
Zy Glam (Scotts Bluff)
The complaint emphasizes that the production processes on Delta 8 and other such synthetic variations of THC found in items being sold in Nebraska require chemical synthesis, but are often being made in an unregulated environment that can result in strong acids, heavy metals, molds, pesticides, or other potentially dangerous byproducts ending up in products made for human consumption.
Hilgers said the marketing on such laced products appeals to kids. His office posted several images showing similarities between things like Rice Krispie treats, Nerds, sour gummy worms, Fritos, and other candies alongside items that resemble them.
“No one who is buying these knows what’s in it,” he said during the news conference Wednesday morning.
“It’s a game of Russian roulette that Nebraskans are losing,” he said.
He stressed that the products have not been deemed safe by any Nebraska or regulatory body. In fact, he said synthetically produced THCs including Delta 8 are even unlawful in states where marijuana has been legalized or decriminalized recreational marijuana or there are significant limits on their use.
“Data has shown that use of these synthetically produced THCs and their analogs can have significant negative health effects, including loss of consciousness, severe respiratory issues, cardiovascular problems, and other serious health issues, some of which require hospitalization,” according to theconsumer warning posted on the AG’s website.
Attorney General Mike Hilgers is warning consumers that many THC-containing products sold in Nebraska may be dangerous for human consumption for the following reasons:
1.Unknown production processes– The creation of delta-8 and other novel synthetic variations of THC currently being sold in Nebraska requires the use of chemical synthesis involving caustic chemicals, reagents, and catalysts. They are often produced in an unregulated environment using chemical reactions that can leave strong acids, heavy metals, or other unknown or undesirable byproducts in the final product. These products may also include mold or pesticides. The resulting new variations of THC, along with their byproducts and compounds, have not been tested for safety or efficacy for human consumption. Even so, these products are being sold for consumption as edibles or drinkables, and for inhalation as vapes or blunts. Products containing synthetically-produced THC, such as delta-8 THC, have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use in any context.
2.Mislabeling– THC-containing products are often mislabeled and may contain significantly more or less of a substance listed or include substances not listed at all. There is generally no way to know, based on the label, exactly what compounds you may be ingesting or inhaling. A consumer cannot predict either the intoxicating effects or the negative health consequences when using these THC-containing products.
3.Unknown health effects– Data has shown that use of these synthetically produced THCs and their analogues can have significant negative health effects, including loss of consciousness, severe respiratory issues, cardiovascular problems, and other serious health issues, some of which require hospitalization. Vaping some THC-containing products may produce ketene, which can lead to EVALI, a potentially fatal lung injury.
4.Danger to children– Many of these products are packaged in a manner that may be attractive to children, including edible products that are made to look like popular items found in any convenience store. Children may consume these products unknowingly, mistaking them for familiar food products. Across the nation, including in Nebraska, children have been hospitalized for THC poisoning from ingesting these products.