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Ban on unregulated THC products introduced in Chicago City Council

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If you walk into a Chicago minimart, gas station, or convenience store, you may see a small package that looks like your favorite snack, but if you look closer, you’ll see the packaging indicates it has cannabis in it.

The issue some officials have is that the labels aren't clear enough, and it could lead to adverse outcomes if minors consume the products.

That’s why Chicago Ald. Brian Hopkins is working to crack down on the unregulated industry that he said is negatively impacting youth in the city.

“These mimic Chips Ahoy, it’s called 'Trips Ahoy.' These mimic Skittles, it’s called 'Zittles,'” he explained. “We don’t know where these are made, what’s in them, we wouldn’t know until U of I researchers told us what’s in them. All of this is happening in this shady industry that’s operating outside of the regulatory environment.”

Dr. Maria Rahmandar, Lurie Children’s Medical Director of Substance Use and Prevention is seeing more young people in the ER with reactions to these products.

She said often, the products are more potent than legally licensed cannabis products, and it can be hard to understand what is in it.

“Harmful chemicals are used to synthesize these products and at the same time, long term effects remain unknown,” Rahmandar said. “So, we need to protect our youth and their developing brains and bodies from these products.”

NBC Chicago dug into several instances reported inside Chicago high schools over the last year.

In one case, five students were hospitalized after reportedly eating edibles a student purchased at the nearby corner store. In another case, three students said they took an edible that looked like candy. They were later hospitalized.

Hopkins said it’s time for Chicago leadership to step in.

“It is just unconscionable that we are letting this happen in plain sight,” he added.


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