CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield Police were called to a Midlothian home over the weekend after a large bag of edibles containing THC was found in the air ducts.
According to a spokesperson with the Chesterfield County Police Department (CCPD), authorities responded to a recently purchased home in the 700 block of Colony Forest Drive on Saturday, June 25 at approximately 9:20 a.m. Renovations were being done on the home, which reportedly led to the discovery of two 2.5-gallon bags.
One bag contained edibles, which resembled a popular candy. The other bag contained a sugar-like substance, which police said was used to make the edibles.
“This really looks like the unregulated products that we’re seeing proliferate on Virginia shelves today,” JM Pedini with Virginia NORML said. “These do look like a brand-name candy, and that’s what Attorney General [Jason] Miyares’ office is hoping to crack down on.”
Just last week, the Attorney General held a press conference, addressing cannabis products that look like common snacks and candy. Between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 31, 2022, the National Poison Control Centers received 10,448 single substance exposure cases involving only edible products with THC. Nearly 80% of total cases involved children under the age of 19, 65% involved unintentional exposures and 79% required health care facility evaluation, according to the FDA.
“There have been a number of accidental poisonings in recent months in Virginia with these lookalike products, and so not only are they posing a health risk to children, but to unsuspecting adult consumers, as well,” Pedini said. “Consumers deserve to know what’s on the label is in the package.”
Under Virginia law, marijuana possession by adults ages 21 and up is permitted for up to one ounce in public. However, the bags discovered in the Midlothian home were found inside a private residence. Pedini said the legal issue would be in the case of possession with the intent to distribute.
“Police generally know what they’re looking for to determine if marijuana is possessed for personal use versus for illegal distribution — so scales, baggies, wrappers for individual servings,” they said.
A spokesperson with CCPD noted that the bags were all that was found in the air ducts, and that tests were done on the products to determine their THC contents.
“What we really want to know is what’s in that product, and has it been sent to a lab, and can we see those lab reports?” Pedini said.
They also noted that there are some significant changes to marijuana laws in Virginia going into effect Friday, July 1.
“While personal possession in one’s home will no longer be subject to penalty, public possession of over four ounces of cannabis will become a new misdemeanor, and with edibles, that four-ounce limit can be hit really quickly,” Pedini said.