Two Utah girls hospitalized after eating cannabis candies distributed by church
Police said that the medicated candies were given out in 63 food bags, which the church had received from the Utah Food Bank donations
Two young girls from Utah were hospitalized after they consumed Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - infused candy from a church food distribution, say some reports. The girls, aged 5 and 11, and three other children ate medicated 'Nerds Ropes' candy at the First Baptist Church of Roy on Friday, April 3. Police said that the medicated candies were given out in 63 food bags, which the church had received from the Utah Food Bank donations.
Authorities said that the candy had 400 milligrams of THC, which is nearly 40 times a normal dosage for an adult who uses marijuana regularly. The candy's packaging even encourages customers o "Tear & Share." Shortly after the incident, an investigation was launched by the food bank and police to learn how the cannabis candies ended up in donations, according to KUTV.
The 5-year-old girl's father, who requested his and his daughter's anonymity, said that his child is in the Intensive Care Unit at Children's Primary Hospital. He said the incident occurred when the girl was at her grandmother's house. The grandmother had reportedly picked up the candies from the church earlier on April 3, and the girl eventually ate the THC-spiked nerds. The father added that he cannot stay with his daughter at the moment in the hospital because of the deadly novel coronavirus spread.
Roy Baptist Church head minister John Thomas released a statement in response to the botched distribution, saying: "I'm heartbroken this happened when we were trying to offer help." Reports state that this was the church's first food distribution in weeks.
The Utah food bank released a statement shortly after the incident, advising anyone who had received the candies from them to immediately contact the Roy police at (801) 629-8221 or to have an officer come to their house and retrieve the candies with "no questions asked," say reports.
"Clients who have recently visited the First Baptist Church of Roy and received Nerds Ropes candies are advised to check the label for the world 'Medicated' above the Nerds logo, and other package markings consistent with THC content," the statement said. These packages look exactly like Regular Nerd ropes, so it is almost impossible to detect the difference unless you look for it specifically."
The president of the food bank, Ginette Bott, also released a statement, saying: "I think it goes without saying that everyone involved is mortified." She added that efforts were underway to track where the cannabis-laced candies had been received from.
"We're using the information we have in our inventory system and reached out to carriers and will do everything possible to try to track down that specific location where it came from." Food banks generally received donations from multiple sources. The food bank's head also warned that charges could be filed against the source which donated the candies.
"Any time any kind of a product like this comes into a food chain or food supply, this is a criminal offense," she explained. "This is something not to be taken lightly."