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Dozens of Jamaican schoolchildren hospitalized after eating cannabis candy

By Shirin Faqiri and Sahar Akbarzai, CNN

(CNN) — More than 60 elementary school students were hospitalized in Jamaica on Monday after unknowingly eating candy laced with cannabis, according to officials.

Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams told CNN none of the children – who are ages 7 to 12 – appear to be in critical condition, citing doctors.

The candy caused the children “to vomit and hallucinate,” she posted Monday on X, formerly Twitter, adding that some kids were put on an intravenous drip.

“Over 60 primary school students had to be taken to hospital. Parents please beware!!” Williams wrote. “One little boy said he only had ONE sweetie. That’s how potent this product is.”

The minister also said on X that she visited the hospital where the children were being treated, and that “doctors & nurses are doing all they can to ensure the students recover.”

Williams posted a photo of the candy, which came in a rainbow colored package.

The packaging stated the product contains Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-8 THC, a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, “of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties,” according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.

It has “psychoactive and intoxicating effects,” according to the US agency.

The minister also included a photo of the candy package showing a government warning on the back stating, “keep out of reach of children” and “not intended for use by anyone under 21 years of age.”

The packaging stated the product was not approved by the FDA.

Jamaica decriminalized cannabis for people over 18 in 2015, with possession of 2 ounces (56 grams) or less downgraded to a petty offense.

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