District Attorney Kevin Steele’s warning to the public about fentanyl-laced THC gummies sold in MontCo Tobacco Huts may have turned out to be nothing more than an inadvertent public scare. The investigation began after two people who overdosed told law enforcement they had consumed THC gummies purchased in Tobacco Hut’s Blue Bell location.
On Monday, Steele issued a press release that walked back his previous statement, noting that subsequent lab testing failed to confirm illegal substances in the edibles.
The initial warning was based on a portable testing device from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Lab testing failed to confirm the device’s findings.
“At this point, I don’t have any definitive answers, but what I do know is the public needs to be wary of these THC products that are produced in an unregulated industry and in varying settings,” Steele said on Monday.
“It is unclear whether the gummies tested in a lab were the exact same products tested using the portable device, how they were tested, and at what sensitivity level,” wrote The Philadelphia Inquirer today. “His office subsequently has declined to answer questions from The Inquirer to clarify what the discrepancies might mean for his investigation.”
The Inquirer also noted that past findings of marijuana laced with fentanyl were largely either scaled back or never confirmed with lab tests.
A Newsnation interview earlier this week with Chris Cuomo and toxicologist Dr. Ryan Marino addressed the rising increase of police claims that fentanyl is in weed and products including THC. Marino told Cuomo that such reports are misleading.
As the investigation continues, Steele said buyers should still be wary of unregulated THC products.
Needless to say, Tobacco Hut isn’t happy with the situation.
“The irreparable damage to Tobacco Hut’s reputation as a result of the initial press release cannot be undone,” Lauren Wimmer, a Philadelphia-based attorney who represents Tobacco Hut, said in a text message to The Inquirer. “This investigation has been nothing short of reckless.”
Photos courtesy of MontCo DA