To address misinformation surrounding fentanyl and cannabis, the New York Office of Cannabis Management published a fact sheet.
In October 2023, the New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) published “Cannabis and Fentanyl: Facts and Unknowns,” in the Educational Materials section of their website (1,2). Legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis in the state was signed into law in March 2021 and the OCM, governed by the Cannabis Control Board, was created to regulate cannabis, including issuing licenses (2). Medical cannabis had already been legal in the state before 2021 (2).
The fact sheet defined fentanyl and explained that it is becoming increasingly common in unregulated drug supplies (1). “Warnings related to fentanyl ‘contamination’ in cannabis have increased as states continue to legalize cannabis,” the fact sheet also stated (1). “At this time, there have been zero verified incidents of fentanyl ‘contamination’ in cannabis. There is no guarantee that any unregulated cannabis product is free from contaminants or harmful ingredients.”
The purpose of the two-page sheet is to (1) “address misconceptions about cannabis being mixed with fentanyl. The goal of this fact sheet is to provide evidence where it is available, to share information about what is currently known and unknown, and to provide safety tips to help alleviate some of these misconceptions, often spread through misinformed media coverage and anecdotal reporting.” It included key findings, explained ways to reduce the stigma around opioid overdoses, and provided safety recommendations for cannabis users (1).
Some of the key findings included (2):
The OCM recommended that cannabis users buy products from licensed stores to ensure they are laboratory tested for contaminants, and cautioned that products from unregulated supplies can be untested or improperly labelled (1).