If you’ve bought or been offered black market edibles over the past year, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Medicated Nerds Rope or Stoney Patch Kids. If you haven’t heard of them, check the local news stations and federal health warnings. From California to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Minnesota, and everywhere in between, law enforcement has seized thousands upon thousands of identically labeled Nerds Rope and Stoney Patch edibles. So how are dealers in every corner of the U.S. getting the same product, and how do they look so much like real Nerds Ropes and Sour Patch Kids?
The answer goes back to those same bootleg packaging sellers who make thousands of fake BackPackBoyz mylar bags. Instead of popular weed brands, though, these bags are marked with fake Nerds Rope or Sour Patch Kids candy graphics and labeled with arbitrarily high THC quantities—as high as 400 milligrams. With those ready-to-seal bags easily available online, all dealers need to do is unwrap bulk quantities of real Nerds Rope or Sour Patch candies, spray them with cheap THC distillate, and repackage them in the pre-labeled edible bags. In most cases, the THC distillate is the same illicit pot product that is used in the counterfeit vape cartridges that sparked a health crisis last year.
Since eating edibles doesn’t affect the lungs, it is unlikely tainted distillate edibles will result in another health crisis, but the facade of professional packaging hides product of uncertain and widely varying potency and potentially unsafe manufacturing and handling techniques. The knockoff edible market is so big that Nerds Rope parent company Ferrara Candy Company has made public statements distancing itself from and rebuking the popular black market product. At the end of the day, there is nothing stopping dealers from repackaging plain candy in edible-labeled bags without any THC added at all.