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Charges laid against Winnipeg duo who gave edibles to trick-or-treaters as young as six

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Packaging indicated 600 milligrams of THC

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Charges have been laid against two people who were arrested not long after they allegedly provided cannabis edibles to trick-or-treaters as young as six.

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According to CBC News, the pair faces numerous charges, including 13 counts each of distributing cannabis to a young person and distributing cannabis knowing to be illicit.

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The Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) reported the day after Halloween that a number of parents had reported their children receiving THC “Nerds” candy while trick or treating. Packaging indicated 600 milligrams of THC and the edibles “were packaged along with regular full-size chocolate bars in individual zip bags.”

  1. Image for representation. Police are advising anyone whose children may have received the gummies on Cherry Lane to not open the packages. /

    Suspect accused of handing out Halloween treats in weed bags

  2. Police say they had been unable to pinpoint the home where the drugs were handed out at the time of the complaint. /

    Two charged after cannabis edibles found in Halloween treat bags in B.C. city

  3. none

    Investigation launched after middle schoolers given cannabis edibles

Legal cannabis edibles can contain just 10 mg of THC per package.

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The Ontario Poison Centre points out that “the effects of cannabis in a child are much more variable than effects seen in adults. Any ingestion of cannabis in a child can cause serious harm.” Possible symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, agitation, confusion, slurred speech, drowsiness/lethargy and slowed breathing.

There were no reports of harm to children who received the cannabis edibles.

Two days after Halloween 2022, the WPS reported its Major Crimes Unit had received more than a dozen reports from parents finding edibles in their children’s treat bags.

The candies were collected by trick-or-treaters, aged 6 to 16, in the city’s South Tuxedo neighbourhood. At the time, police had recovered four packages and collection of any additional packages were under way.

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In a WPS statement on Nov. 2, 2022, a 53-year-old female and a 63-year-old male were taken into custody on 13 counts of causing bodily harm by criminal negligence, 12 counts of administering a noxious thing with intent to endanger life or cause bodily harm, 13 counts adult distribution of cannabis to a young person and 13 counts of adult distribution of known illicit cannabis. The names of the individuals involved were not provided.

At that point, the police probe was continuing, and the pair of accused had been released on promise to appear.

While recreational cannabis is legal throughout Canada, it is meant only for adults of age (18 or 19 depending on the specific province or territory). Adults can only buy legal pot products from provincially licensed retailers, online through government cannabis websites or online from federally licensed producers.

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Canada’s Cannabis Act has measures to help prevent youth access to weed, including the age restrictions and strict rules around promotion. While penalties for violating related prohibitions include a fine of as much as $5 million or three years in jail, the maximum penalty, upon conviction, of selling or providing cannabis to anyone under the age of 18 is 14 years in jail.

CBC News recently reported the man and woman appeared in provincial court this week, although police have reportedly not yet received an update regarding Health Canada testing and the specific contents of the recovered candies.

According to CTV News, the duo faces a total of 26 offences under the Cannabis Act. Beyond distributing cannabis to a young person and distributing illicit cannabis, no further details of charges was noted.

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A recent study out of the U.S. found that reported cases of cannabis edibles exposures among children under 6 had ballooned from 207 to 3,054, a whopping 1,375 per cent. Earlier Canadian research comparing ED visits in Hamilton, Ont. pre- and post-cannabis legalization saw a spike for acute cannabis intoxication among those aged 18 to 29.

But beyond inadvertent exposures, or unanticipated effects, are cases in which drugs were knowingly share with or sold to young people.

These include a New Jersey, fifth-grade teacher charged with allegedly supplying a 13-year-old student with vodka, vape pens and THC oil for more than two years, and Massachusetts neighbours who were sick of a “drive-thru drug store” selling cannabis and magic mushrooms to student-aged customers. The cops were called, with officers finding a whole lot of drugs, and reporting a suspect will be charged with appropriate offences.

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with feedback and story tips at thegrowthop@postmedia.com

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