Want to buy canned whipped cream in New York state? Don’t forget your ID


The next time you buy a can of whipped cream in New York, be prepared to show ID.

A little-known state law that prohibits the sale of cartridges in cans whipped cream for under 21s has only recently been noticed – and enforced – to the amusement of customers unaware of the not-so-new regulations.

The age limit was introduced nine months ago to prevent teenagers from potentially abusing nitrous oxide, better known as nitrous oxide. The nitrous oxide found in whipped cream cans, when misused as a narcotic, is commonly referred to as “whippits” or “whip-its.”

Meghan Massey, 43, couldn’t understand why she was carded earlier this month at her local Hannaford supermarket in Watertown.

“I thought, ‘What’s going on?’ I was looking in my shopping cart. What am I being identified for? I was so confused,” a laughing Massey told NBC News on Monday. “I was mortified. Why am I being identified? What’s going on now? I’m 43 and have gray hair.”

While Massey laughed at her grocery store ID incident earlier this month, Kent Sopris, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, isn’t all that amused by the regulations he claims are taxing members.

“Requiring age verification when buying whipped cream is another classic compliance burden for New York state convenience stores,” he said in a statement.

“We constantly hear about how important small businesses are to politicians in New York, but frankly, such laws prove otherwise.”

The age requirement for nitrous oxide cartridges came into effect on November 25. But Sopris said it was only in recent weeks that its members became aware of it.

“We have not received any notice that the governor has acted on the law, nor have any of our business colleagues,” he added. “When NYACS realized the law was in effect, we immediately alerted our members and notified them of the law change.”

Secretary of State Joseph Addabbo, sponsor of the bill that became law, told NBC News Monday that stores are not allowed to card for canned whipped cream.

He said the law targets cartridges sold separately from a typical whipped cream can.

In theory, according to the law, a young person could buy a can of Reddi-Wip, break it open and remove the cartridge of nitrous oxide, but that’s not his goal.

“It’s basically the cartridge or charger” that shouldn’t be sold to young people, Addabbo said Monday. “It’s a small two-inch charger or cartridge, that’s the words in the bill.”

The legislator said of stores that card with canned whipped cream, “That was never the intent of the bill.”

Erica Komoroske, a spokeswoman for Stewart’s Shops based in Ballston Spa, said her company only took action in recent weeks when employees in other stores saw signs of canned whipped cream on display.

The chain now has hand-drawn signs informing customers of its whipped cream policy aged 21 and over.

“I know it seems silly,” Komoroske said Monday. “But we definitely see that there are certain teens who are abusing cans of whipped cream. So on the other hand, we see that too.”

Matteo Moschella contributed.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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