Dr. Jane Pegg couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the pot edibles that had poisoned a two-year-old who had been rushed to the emergency room in October.
“It so shocked and appalled me … the package looked almost identical to gummies that are sold as candies in the store,” the Nanaimo, B.C., pediatrician said.
The boy wasn’t moving and was having trouble breathing.
His distraught mother had accidentally given him marijuana-laced gummies that contained a massive dose of THC — a psychoactive compound in cannabis — thinking it was candy.
The edibles belonged to the child’s grandfather, who has arthritis, and are sold under the names “Stoney Patch” and “Stoner Patch.”
They look so much like the Sour Patch Kids brand that the company behind that candy, Mondelēz Canada Inc., successfully sued last January for trademark infringement.
“I don’t know why the companies that are selling these products are not being shut down, not being fined, not being charged,” said Pegg.
Cannabis-infused edibles — including gummy candies, chocolate or baked goods —that are sold legally must follow Health Canada rules including a 10-milligram limit on THC.
They also can’t be packaged with images or bright colours that can appeal to children, need to have child safety warnings and be child-resistant.
But copycat products often break all the rules.
Go Public found hundreds of websites selling illicit edibles with packages designed to look like all types of candy and chocolate bars — everything from Sour Patch Kids, Pop Tarts, Snickers chocolate bars and more.
The sites are part of a huge and illegal marketplace that operates openly, under the nose of the government and law enforcement.