Marijuana-laced gummy ring candies are to blame for sickening 19 people at a quinceañera party Saturday night in San Francisco, health officials said Monday.
All 19 people were hospitalized after they suffered rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, high blood pressure, dizziness, lethargy, confusion and nausea – all effects of ingesting edible cannabis, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The hospitalized partygoers have since recovered from their ailments and were released from area hospitals Monday.
Health officials said that 13 of the patients ranged in age from 6 to 18 years old.
"If these candies are confirmed as edible marijuana, then this event is a strong warning about the dangers of edibles, which can be very potent and hard to control dosage in the best circumstances," Dr. Tomas Aragon, health officer for San Francisco, said in a prepared statement. "A situation like this, where they were consumed by unsuspecting people, and many children, is greatly concerning."
The patients attended a 15-year-old girl's birthday party Saturday night in the city's Mission District. At some point during the festivities, partygoers consumed the candies.
Health officials said an Oakland-based company catered the party. The Alameda County Department of Public Health is investigating and working with the catering company to determine where the candies came from, Aragon said.
Twelve patients were tested for tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main ingredient in marijuana. All of them tested positive for the substance.
Final lab results later determined the candies contained THC.
"This could have been a much worse situation than it was, and I'm glad that all the children that ingested the candy have recovered," Mayor Ed Lee said.
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3:20 p.m.: This article was updated with the candies testing positive for THC.