Winnipeg police say they’re “keenly” investigating a small area of south Tuxedo after receiving multiple reports — upwards of half a dozen — of cannabis edibles being discovered in children’s Halloween goodies.
Police say the items were included in ziploc bags, alongside full-sized candy bars and were given out to trick or treaters Monday night. The packages — labeled ‘Medicated Nerds Rope Bites’ are designed to resemble ‘Nerds’ candy, and include a stamp on the packaging stating they contain 600 milligrams of THC.
Const. Dani McKinnon said police have been in the area since early Tuesday morning, meeting with parents who made the reports and gathering information — and while there’s no motive and the items have yet to be drug-tested, investigators are taking the reports seriously.
“We would have to establish down the road is this actually an illegal substance. At this stage of the game, we’re treating this as precaution,” she said.
“We’re treating it as a serious incident and we’re treating it as if it’s actually a cannabis substance that is being distributed to children.”
McKinnon acknowledged that there have been hoaxes in the past related to drugged Halloween candy, but said police are taking the reports at face value unless proven otherwise.
The small area of the neighbourhood where the reports came from, along with the not-so-common details of full-sized chocolate bars in ziploc bags, have police hopeful about the investigation.
“The thing that’s unique about these packages… some homes will do these pre-packaged treat bags. So far all the reports that have been received include these pre-packaged treat bags,” McKinnon said.
“Sometimes parents — especially if the kids are quite young — will pay attention to that.”
Girl hospitalized in B.C.
Later in the day Tuesday, RCMP in Richmond, B.C., said a girl in that community was hospitalized after eating THC-infused candy she’d received on Halloween.
Police in Richmond handed out a photo of the candy, also called “Medicated Nerds,” THC infused gummy rope, with a label that it be kept out of the reach of children and animals.
Richmond RCMP said the girl’s parents phoned police late Monday to report the area where the she had been trick-or-treating in case the drug had been handed to other children.
They said no other children from the group she went out with had been given the candy. The girl was treated and released from hospital.
The items pictured in images provided by Winnipeg police are not legally available at licensed cannabis stores in Manitoba, as prohibitions set out in the federal Cannabis Act ban products that have an appearance that could appeal to young people.
According to the act, it’s prohibited to sell products that incorporate “colour, lettering or design that evokes a food product associated with young persons,” or to sell a product that evokes, including through similar branding elements “popular toys or games related to young persons, sporting equipment or candies, etc.”
Packaging for legal cannabis products also requires a standardized Canadian cannabis symbol — which does not appear on the image provided by police — as well as a bilingual health warning and associated product information.
–With files from The Canadian Press