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Halloween candy scare: Winnipeg police say children's treat bags contained THC 'Medicated Nerds'

Halloween candy scare: Winnipeg police say children's treat bags contained THC 'Medicated Nerds'

Winnipeg police are advising parents to check their children’s Halloween bags after receiving a dozen reports of cannabis edibles being discovered in some treat bags.

Investigators say they have received at least a “half-dozen” reports of THC ‘Medicated Nerds’ Candy being found inside children’s Halloween bags in the South Tuxedo area. The items were packaged along with regular full-sized chocolate bars inside individual ziploc sandwich bags and were given out to children Monday night.

The packages—’Medicated Nerds Rope Bites’—resemble the ‘Nerds’ candy and contain 600 milligrams of THC.

"THC is responsible for the way your brain and body respond to cannabis which can include feeling high," McKinnon said in a live press release. "The potency of THC can vary in different products. The effect of THC on children can be harmful."

Public Information Officer Const. Dani McKinnon says that the police have been in the area since Tuesday morning, meeting with parents and gathering information from houses in the area. No motive has been found yet and the candies are yet to be drug-tested.

“The investigators are keenly on this,” McKinnon said. “Luckily, no reports of children being harmed have been received till now.”

The police are advising parents to not try to handle the packaging—perhaps use a glove while handling the candies and to put it somewhere safe until they're met with the police.

The police are holding off on any information on charges since they do not know the motive behind the distribution. Police would have to test the items to determine what charges will be laid on the individual responsible.

"However, we're treating this as a serious incident and we're taking this very seriously," McKinnon says.

The items pictured in images provided by police are not legally available at licensed cannabis stores in Manitoba, as prohibitions set out in the federal Cannabis Act ban products that have an appearance that could appeal to young people.

"There's very specific information that must go on those items," McKinnon says. "These particular candied items that we have seized do not meet those requirements. So at this stage we do not know where the packages are from."

According to the final rules, it’s prohibited to sell products that incorporate “colour or design that evokes a food product associated with young persons,” or to sell a product that evokes, including through similar branding elements “popular toys or games related to young persons, sporting equipment or candies, etc.”

The packaging should be "plain" and "child-resistant" and should be made to "reduce the attractiveness and appeal of cannabis products, particularly to young persons".

Packaging for legal cannabis products also requires a standardized Canadian cannabis symbol — which does not appear on the image provided by police — as well as a bilingual health warning and associated product information.

Anyone with information or with a similar report are being told to call the police at 204-986-6129.