DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – When children across the Triangle grab their candy on Halloween night, parents are asked to make sure those sweets are safe.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall said some items can pose a significant health risk.

“When these get into the hands of a child, they can become a serious illness or even deadly,” Secretary Marshall told CBS 17.

A law enforcement operation led by the Secretary of State seized nearly $170,000 worth of THC-infused snacks.

Those counterfeit items were taken from vape and tobacco stores across Eastern North Carolina.

Some were found in Durham County at one shop, which surrendered the snacks in a cooperative manner.



“If you are buying these things — which you are illegally allowed to do — store them as if you were storing a toxic chemical or some other medication where they’re out of the reach of smaller children and locked up from older children,” Marshall said.

The edibles all used counterfeit brands of popular items like Airheads and OREOs, something that may look like a regular snack to children. And the majority of stores involved are located near schools. 

According to America’s Poison Centers, reports of cannabis edible poisonings in children 12 and under increased by almost 700% since 2018. The state’s operation also seized several weapons and other illegal drugs. Marshall said she is not releasing the specific names of the stores.