B.C. police officer raises concerns about online edible sales

He was shocked to bust a woman allegedly selling weed-laced brownies with 40 times the recommended single dose of THC

An edible cannabis product seized by police in Delta, B.C. is seen in this undated handout photo. Delta police Const. Derek Gallamore was shocked when his department busted a woman allegedly selling weed-laced brownies with 40 times the recommended dose of THC. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Delta Police Department

An edible cannabis product seized by police in Delta, B.C. is seen in this undated handout photo. Delta police Const. Derek Gallamore was shocked when his department busted a woman allegedly selling weed-laced brownies with 40 times the recommended dose of THC. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Delta Police Department

Const. Derek Gallamore was shocked when his department in Delta, B.C., busted a woman allegedly selling weed-laced brownies with 40 times the recommended single dose of THC.

The sugary treat looked identical to a regular grocery store confection but packed a whopping 400 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. He immediately imagined what might happen if a toddler came across the dessert.

“Being a parent, I looked at it and went, ‘Wait a second.’” he said. “There were no warning labels for children.”

Though cannabis was legalized Oct. 17, edibles will not be legal until sometime within the next year. But that hasn’t stopped entrepreneurs from cooking up pot-infused candies, cookies and other items and selling them online or in dispensaries.

READ MORE: Edibles sidelined in proposed amendments to Cannabis Act

Gallamore said the woman was arrested about 18 months ago and the Crown decided against laying charges because they weren’t sure how marijuana legalization would affect the case.

Photos provided by Gallamore show other items seized were in professional-looking packaging. A rice cereal treat had the words “Keep away from children” in small letters, but blue raspberry gummies were in a clear bag and looked like any other candy.

After the incident, he began researching the edible cannabis market and learned it’s easy to purchase potent weed delicacies online. Most require the purchaser to register using government identification, but youth could still get the products, he said.

“It’s pretty easy to have someone buy edibles for you,” said Gallamore, whose work to spread information about the dangers of edibles to youths was highlighted by Delta police in a news release on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Market for cannabis edibles remains strong, despite ban

Some websites require buyers to agree to terms and conditions that state they need cannabis for a medical reason. Selling marijuana online to medical users is illegal unless the producer is licensed by Health Canada, which says on its website that law enforcement has the authority to take action against illegal cannabis activity.

The federal government is set to launch consultations in the coming months on edible regulations, and it’s considering requiring a standardized cannabis symbol on labels and banning product forms, ingredients and flavouring agents that appeal to kids.

Colorado had practically no restrictions on edibles when they hit shelves in 2014. That year, marijuana exposure calls about children and youth to a Denver poison control centre nearly doubled, and a college student jumped to his death after eating infused cookies.

The incidents grabbed headlines and pushed the state to introduce regulations, including requiring each product to be divided into servings of 10 or fewer milligrams of THC.

READ MORE: Pot edibles handed out on Halloween in B.C.

Edibles effects are delayed compared with marijuana consumed by smoking, putting users at risk of overconsumption, and the items are often sweet treats that appeal to children, said Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, a medical health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health.

Lysyshyn said Vancouver hospitals see a surge in emergency room visits by youth intoxicated by cannabis every year on April 20 during a weed festival in the city. Most have consumed edibles, he said.

“When people consume too much cannabis, they don’t overdose like people do on heroin,” he said.

“But it is unpleasant to consume too much cannabis and people can feel nauseous, they can vomit, they can feel sweaty, they can feel anxious and paranoid and even have psychosis if they consume enough.”

It’s going to be tricky for the government to ensure that edibles aren’t kid-friendly but are still appetizing to adults, Lysyshyn added.

“I think it is a bit of a challenge to figure out: what are the regulations going to be so that (companies) can produce reasonable products that people would want to eat, but that aren’t appealing to children?”

In early October, a young girl on Vancouver Island ate pot-infused gummy bears that she found in the back seat of a car. She was rushed to hospital in medical distress but was expected to fully recover, RCMP said.

Gallamore said his focus now is educating parents and youth about the dangers of edibles. He recently spoke to a parental advisory council and plans to deliver a presentation to a larger audience in early December.

“If you do consume these things, lock them up. Make them safe.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

Facebook/ The Open Door 24/7 Integrated Response Hub- Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin residents show support for 24/7 Integrated Response Hub

Wetaskiwin residents and City Council members showed support for Hub with positive signs.

25-year-old Rachelle Okrusko has been missing since Jan. 12, 2021. Photo provided by Wetaskiwin RCMP.
Wetaskiwin RCMP looking for missing woman

25-year-old Rachelle Okrusko has been missing since Jan. 12, 2021.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

(Via the Canadian Press)
Alberta monolith comes with message to save eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains

‘They deserve our attention. They warrant our protection. They are under threat’

blessing
Bentley Blessing Pantry continues to faithfully serve the community

‘We just wanted to make everyone aware that we are still here to serve you throughout this coming year.’

A Suncor logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 2, 2019. A worker is missing after a dozer broke through ice on an inactive Suncor tailings pond in northern Alberta.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Worker missing after dozer breaks through frozen tailings pond in northern Alberta

The worker was an employee of Christina River Construction

File Photo
‘You took away some real joy,’ Sylvan Lake Winter Village turned off after vandalism

Sometime during the night of Jan, 12 the light display at the pier was vandalized and damaged

Most Read