After a COVID-19 food drive, donated cannabis ‘candy’ sent children to the hospital

About 63 families were given pre-packaged food bags, some containing illegal edibles with 400 mg of THC

It was an unholy mess when a church in Utah, only looking to distribute the swell of donations received at its food bank amid the COVID-19 crisis, mistakenly handed out some cannabis edibles that ended up in the hands of two children.

The children aged five and 11 had to be hospitalized last week after consuming the Medicated Nerds Rope, handed out at the the Roy Baptist Church food distribution centre, according to Merry Jane. The packaging on the product looks stunningly similar to the classic candy.

As part of their investigation, local police said at least three more children who ate the candy did not require hospitalization, reports KSL News.

That said, police do not believe there was malicious intent behind the donation or some attempt to target children. “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.

The label of the unlicensed edibles notes the product contains 400 mg of THC, according to KSL. Utah Food Bank officials did a count and reported the edibles were part of some of the pre-packaged food bags given to at least 63 families.

The food bank offered apologies and made clear that processes involving donations have been changed to avoid a recurrence. “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,” said food bank president and CEO Ginette Bott.

“We want to reassure consumers that Nerds products donated directly by the company, found at major retailers across the country, or purchased through, are safe to consume,” notes a statement from Ferrara Candy Company, which makes the real-deal Nerds Rope.

It is certainly not the first time consuming edibles has landed people in the hospital. More than a year ago, a 70-year-old man had a heart attack after experiencing paranoia and hallucinations reportedly linked to a cannabis-infused sucker. And just last month, some employees at the Mineshaft Restaurant who were attending a pot luck during a wake in B.C. ended in the emergency room after eating weed-containing food.


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