A pair of Utah children were hospitalized late last week after consuming cannabis-infused candy that they received from a food bank distribution center at their local church.
According to KSL News, the 5- and 11-year-old Utah kids were the latest unsuspecting victims of one of the black market weed industry’s most popular edibles: THC-Infused Nerds Ropes. Frequently confiscated by parents and police across the country over the last year, these unlicensed Nerds Rope edibles are labeled to contain 400mg of THC and packaged to appear almost identical to the classic candy.
Officials are still not sure who donated the cannabis-infused candy, but after the accidental pot dosing was made public, officials at the Utah Food Bank said that the Nerds Rope edibles were included in pre-packaged food bags given out to at least 63 families at the Roy Baptist Church late last week.
“We are absolutely horrified that this product went out to any of our partner agencies, and can easily see how volunteers would not have known what to look for,” Utah Food Bank president and CEO Ginette Bott told KSL. “We apologize to any families who may have received this product, and are changing our processes involving such donations immediately to avoid this happening again.”
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to put millions out of work, food banks across the globe have become increasingly important and significantly busier. Local police said that they have been in contact with a number of other families who received infused Nerds Rope in their bags of food, including parents of three more children who ate the candy, but did not require hospitalization.
In their investigation, Roy cops said that they have seen no evidence that the donations were a malicious attempt at giving kids cannabis, but was more likely an accidental mix-up by someone with too much weed candy on their hands — and maybe in their system.
“Right now, we do not believe nor do we have any evidence to support that the donation was intentional. We have discussed this issue with our local food bank and it appears to be an accident,” Roy police sergeant Matthew Gwynn told NBC News in a statement.
Ferrara Candy Company, the brand that produces the real-deal Nerds Rope, released a statement assuring the public that its candies do not contain cannabis, and that any product donations the company makes will stop at a sugar high.
With the COVID-19 crisis raging across the globe, food banks are seeing influxes in donations, leading one church to accidentally hand out THC-infused edibles.
Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank
At least two children are hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank in Utah.
An 11-year-old and a 5-year-old were taken to a hospital Friday night after consuming “Medicated Nerds Rope” candy given to their families as part of a food distribution effort from a church working with the Utah Food Bank.
Roy City Police said volunteers at the food bank distributed more than 60 bags that contained three to four servings of the candy rope. Labels in the candy indicate that each one contains 400 milligrams of THC. Adults are normally prescribed between 15 to 45 milligrams of the psychoactive marijuana component.
Three other children also consumed the candy, but were not taken to a hospital, police said.
“Right now, we do not believe nor do we have any evidence to support that the donation was intentional. We have discussed this issue with our local food bank and it appears to be an accident,” police sergeant Matthew Gwynn told NBC News in a statement.
Utah Food Bank president and CEO Ginette Bott apologized “to any families who may have received this product.”
“We are absolutely horrified that this product went out to any of our partner agencies, and can easily see how volunteers would not have known what to look for,” she told KSL, an NBC affiliate station in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Bott also said the Utah Food Bank is also “changing our processes involving such donations immediately to avoid this happening again” as demand for food and donations continues to increase due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Ferrara Candy Company, the parent company of Nerds, said in a statement Saturday that the product was counterfeit,
“We want to reassure consumers that Nerds products donated directly by the company . are safe to consume,” it said.
John Thomas, interim pastor of the Roy Baptist Church, which distributed the food bank donations containing the THC candy, said volunteers were trying a new delivery system in an effort to implement coronavirus-related precautions, KSL reported.
Under normal circumstances, people come inside the church and choose what they need, said Thomas. Instead, volunteers were giving families bags of previously packaged food in a drive-thru set up.
At least five children ate candy containing high THC doses after the Utah Food Bank distributed it as part of their food donations. Two children are hospitalized.