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Two children hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank

At least five children ate candy containing high THC doses after the Utah Food Bank distributed it as part of their food donations, police said.

At least two children are hospitalized after eating THC candy from a food bank in Utah.

An 11-year-old and a 5-year-old were taken to a hospital Friday night after consuming “Medicated Nerds Rope” candy given to their families as part of a food distribution effort from a church working with the Utah Food Bank.

Roy City Police said volunteers at the food bank distributed more than 60 bags that contained three to four servings of the candy rope. Labels in the candy indicate that each one contains 400 milligrams of THC. Adults are normally prescribed between 15 to 45 milligrams of the psychoactive marijuana component.

Image: Nerds Ropes candy that were infused with THC and distributed to families by the Utah Food Bank.
Nerds Ropes candy that were infused with THC and distributed to families by the Utah Food Bank.Roy City Police

Three other children also consumed the candy, but were not taken to a hospital, police said.

"Right now, we do not believe nor do we have any evidence to support that the donation was intentional. We have discussed this issue with our local food bank and it appears to be an accident," police sergeant Matthew Gwynn told NBC News in a statement.

Utah Food Bank president and CEO Ginette Bott apologized "to any families who may have received this product."

“We are absolutely horrified that this product went out to any of our partner agencies, and can easily see how volunteers would not have known what to look for,” she told KSL, an NBC affiliate station in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bott also said the Utah Food Bank is also "changing our processes involving such donations immediately to avoid this happening again" as demand for food and donations continues to increase due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Ferrara Candy Company, the parent company of Nerds, said in a statement Saturday that the product was counterfeit,

"We want to reassure consumers that Nerds products donated directly by the company ... are safe to consume," it said.

John Thomas, interim pastor of the Roy Baptist Church, which distributed the food bank donations containing the THC candy, said volunteers were trying a new delivery system in an effort to implement coronavirus-related precautions, KSL reported.

Under normal circumstances, people come inside the church and choose what they need, said Thomas. Instead, volunteers were giving families bags of previously packaged food in a drive-thru set up.