13 students hospitalized after consuming cannabis-infused candy bar

By Minh Cuong   October 26, 2021 | 05:30 pm GMT+7
13 students hospitalized after consuming cannabis-infused candy bar
A child rests in a bed at the Ha Long General Hospital in Quang Ninh after consuming a candy bar laced with THC. Photo by VnExpress/Hang Ngan
Thirteen high school students in the northern Quang Ninh Province were hospitalized after eating a candy bar of unknown substance, with six later testing positive for cannabis.

At 7:45 a.m. Monday, a 10th grader showed signs of poisoning including headache, dizziness and nausea, according to a representative of Hoanh Bo High School in Ha Long Town. Twelve other students later showed similar symptoms, the representative added.

All the students then received first aid and were taken to Ha Long General Hospital. Six tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.

So far, their health has been stabilized and they are being monitored at the hospital.

The students allegedly consumed the same kind of candy bar brought to class by a male peer. That student had visited a cousin's home, also a café, Sunday night. He saw a colorful bar in a toy box, thought it was candy and took it home.

The next morning, he brought the bar to school and shared some with his classmates, which led to the incident.

The candy bars responsible for the hospitalization of 13 high school students in Quang Ninh. Photo by VnExpress/Hang Ngan

The candy bar responsible for the hospitalization of 13 high school students in Quang Ninh. Photo by VnExpress/Hang Ngan

On Tuesday morning, Quang Ninh police determined the incident as a case of food poisoning and not drug-related.

Police said the bar hails from the U.S., whose ingredients are extracted from cannabis and can only be used via doctor’s prescription. The bar was brought back from the U.S. by a relative of the aforementioned cousin. As the family did not know what to do with it, they simply stashed the bar inside a toy box, and were not aware the student had taken it.

Authorities had checked the cafe, but did not find the kind of candy bars consumed by the students. The cafe was only fined VND2 million ($87.74) for the unhygienic handling of food.

A Facebook post in February 2020 by Tyler County Sheriff’s Office warned of "an imitation candy infused with THC," designed to look like a legitimate, commonly sold candy product called "Nerds Rope". They warned the imitation candy "could be potentially harmful to children" if they were to consume it.

 
 
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