(Walhalla, SC)————————————–The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is issuing an advisory to parents and guardians today regarding THC laced gummies and their availability to children and teens.
The Sheriff’s Office has had three separate incidents reported this year concerning minors who ingested THC laced gummies. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. It is what makes people feel high when using marijuana. Hemp naturally contains THC but has to be below 0.30% in order to be considered Hemp. One of the minors was a two year old child, who was treated and released from the hospital. In the second incident, a 14 year old received medical attention as well. Thirdly, a 15 year old was reported as being paranoid and talkative after consuming a THC laced gummy.
According to Narcotics Agents, a minor can legally purchase THC laced gummies as long as they contain the threshold of at or below 0.30% THC. Agents also advised that these products are also available for purchase online.
“Anyone under the age of 18 cannot legally buy cigarettes, or anyone under the age of 21 cannot legally buy alcohol in a store, however, there is nothing in South Carolina law that prohibits a minor from purchasing gummies that contain a threshold of at or below 0.30% THC,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “This unfortunately is an unintended consequence of our state legalizing Hemp. There are no current regulations concerning these products. Law enforcement has to pay hundreds of dollars per test to have a private lab test the level of THC in these products due to the state crime lab not being able to test THC levels in these types of products. Due to the lack of regulations, one gummy can have a much higher percentage of THC than another one in the same bag. Our narcotics agents are also seeing these types of products being sold as vapes. We wanted to send this alert out to parents and guardians so they can be aware of these products to make sure that their children do not have them in their possession. I also ask that business owners to consider removing these products from their stores that can cause children to become ill.”
Narcotics Agents advise that some other products, such as vapes, oil and lotions contain threshold levels of THC but due to the lack of regulation, the levels of THC vary. Agents also advised that general side effects from these products can be anxiety, panic, body coordination and thinking and hallucinations.
In the two current Sheriff’s Office investigations, both minors were lethargic. The 14 year old also had slurred speech and was unbalanced.
According to SLED, more than 50% of the tests that they can conduct on these type products contain more THC than the legal amount required to be classified as Hemp.