State police warn parents to check kids’ Halloween candy, citing potential marijuana candy risk

Some brands of marijuana candy look like imitations of famous name brands. (Photo provided by Pennsylvania State Police)

EAST LAMPETER TOWNSHIP, Lancaster County — Pennsylvania State Police are warning parents to be cautious after reports of marijuana-laced candy and other edible items surfaced in New Jersey and other nearby states.

The edible items pose a great risk to users, especially children, who could accidentally receive the items during the Halloween season, police say.

In May 2017, police say, a ten-year-old boy from Ramapo, New York was sent to the emergency room after ingesting a marijuana-infused sour gummy candy.  The boy experienced symptoms of nervousness and nausea.

Marijuana candy contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient that causes marijuana users to get high. The THC levels in marijuana candy can be as high as 90 percent, compared to the 10-20 percent found in marijuana plants, according to police.

Marijuana candy products can come in many forms, including (but not limited to): cookies, brownies, lollipops, gummies, chocolates, and other hard candies. Symptoms of ingested marijuana candy include dizziness, shallow breathing, red eyes and dilated pupils, dry mouth, increased appetite, and slow reaction time.

Other effects include distorted sense of time, random thinking, paranoia, anxiety, depression, and short-term forgetfulness.

Police recommend the following precautions:

  • Check for unusual candy packaging, like homemade, plastic packages
  • Check for an odor similar to the smell of a marijuana plant
  • Read the packaging of name brand candy, as it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the difference based on apperarance
  • Wear vinyl or non-latex gloves when checking the candy

If you believe your child has received marijuana candy, contact local police immediately.

If you think you or your child has ingested marijuana candy, seek immediate medical assistance.