Drugs featuring chocolate bar and sweet logos are being sold by dealers on Instagram, a newspaper investigation has revealed.
Police Scotland warned of a spike in ‘edible cannabis’ in recent years, saying some dealers are running “huge operations”.
Following the undercover reporting, Mars and Nestlé branded the fake products as “illegal” and “irresponsible”.
Reporters from the Mail on Sunday were able to buy hundreds of pounds of edible cannabis products after contacting drug dealers on Instagram – the popular social media platform owned by Facebook.
It looks like a treat but it is dangerous.
One profile was found to be advertising fake ‘Mars’, ‘Smarties’ and ‘M&M’ cannabis products to its 6,000 followers daily.
Another advertised an event on Instagram which consisted of hard-boiled cannabis sweets being sold to users.
In Glasgow and Perth, journalists met men who sold them skunk – super strength cannabis – and two fake Mars chocolate bars.
Instagram said buying or selling illegal drugs on its platform was prohibited and that reviewers “check and remove content” that breach its rules.
Responding to the investigation, Conservative MP Peter Bone said: “We should crack down hard on this because they can be taken by children if they think they are sweets or cakes. They will be using them without knowing the risks.”
The Mars Wrigley company criticised the “unlawful use of our chocolate brands on these illegal products”, while Nestlé said: “This irresponsible and illegal act could have very serious consequences”.
Detective Constable Greig Baxter, from Police Scotland, warned that officers had seen a “significant increase” in edible cannabis recently.
He added that the labelling of the products to look like chocolate “could make these products more appealing to a child”.
“It looks like a treat but it is dangerous”, he said.