Attorney General Tong, Stamford Police Confiscate Thousands of Illegal Delta-8 THC Cannabis Products Following Vape Shop Inspection
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today announced that a joint enforcement action with Stamford Police has resulted in the confiscation of thousands of illegal delta-8 THC, delta-8 THCO, delta-9 THCO and other high THC cannabis products found for sale at three Stamford vape shops. Attorney General Tong announced today he is preparing to take legal action against Zaza Smoke Shop 2, Breeze Smokeshop, and Worlds Exotic Smoke Shop for alleged violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Last month, an investigator from the Office of the Attorney General and the Stamford Police Department inspected the three vape shops. At one shop, investigators discovered a fake electrical panel with a hidden drawer containing flower marijuana, other illicit drugs, wads of cash, and a ledger. At another shop, investigators found illegal THC products stashed above ceiling tiles. Working with the Office of the Attorney General, the Stamford Police confiscated thousands of illegal products, including many products mimicking youth-oriented snack foods. These look-alike products are untested and illegal anywhere in Connecticut, including at licensed cannabis retailers. Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, further details are being withheld.
“My message to retailers is clear—if you continue to sell unregulated, untested, illegal cannabis, I will hold you accountable. Fake Oreos, Cheetos, and Sour Patch Kids packed with THC put kids in danger and are not legal anywhere in Connecticut. In partnership with the Stamford Police Department, thousands of these illegal cannabis products have been confiscated and their sellers now face legal consequences,” said Attorney General Tong. “I have sent letters to every licensed vape shop and publicized the law in every way that I can. There is zero excuse for the continued sale of these illegal, unregulated, and untested products.”
“The City of Stamford has zero tolerance for the sale of illegal and unregulated cannabis products, especially if they are targeted toward our youth,” said Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons. “Keeping our children safe is one of my administration’s top priorities, and I want to thank Attorney General Tong for his partnership with the Stamford Police Department and their collective efforts to crackdown on these illicit sales.”
Products that exceed .3 percent THC on a dry weight, including delta-8 THC, are considered cannabis. These products may only be sold in the regulated market and must meet rigorous testing and packaging requirements. Cannabis products sold outside of the regulated market continue to be illegal and may subject sellers to civil and criminal penalties.
Despite that, sale of illegal delta-8 cannabis products and other high THC cannabis products continues in Connecticut. In late December, an investigator from the Office of the Attorney General conducted a series of unannounced visits to vape shops and gas stations. Illegal delta-8 products were found for sale at every vape shop visited, as well as one of the gas stations. In many instances, the products found mimicked popular youth-oriented snack foods, including Fritos, Skittles, Airheads, and more.
In February, Attorney General Tong sent warning letters to all Connecticut licensed retailers of electronic vaping products advising them that sale of delta-8 THC by unlicensed retailers may be illegal.
“If you offer delta-8 THC products for sale in your establishment that exceed .3 percent THC on a dry weight basis and you do not hold such a license, you are in violation of Connecticut law. For your information, we have included below photographs of products that were recently purchased from retailers in Connecticut that purport to contain delta-8 THC. The sale of such products may expose you to criminal and civil liability. Please remove any such products from your shelves and dispose of them immediately,” the letters stated.
To date, the Office of the Attorney General has sued five Connecticut retailers for alleged violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act over the sale of illegal delta-8 THC products mimicking popular youth-oriented snacks and candies. The first five complaints were filed in February and remaining pending.
According to the Connecticut Poison Control Center, one in five children nationally who eat edibles accidentally are admitted to the hospital. Between 2000 and 2022, the Connecticut Poison Control Center reported 189 cases of ingestion in children under age 19. The majority of those cases resulted in an emergency department visit, and about one-third resulted in the child being admitted to the hospital.
Legal investigator Caylee Ribeiro, Assistant Attorney General Jon Blake, and Deputy Associate Attorney General Mike Wertheimer, Chief of the Consumer Protection Section, are assisting the Attorney General in this matter.