A 6-year-old was hospitalized after eating a weed gummy. Her mother blames the candy-like packaging.

A 6-year-old was hospitalized after eating a weed gummy. Her mother blames the candy-like packaging.
·2 min read
Halloween Candy Sugar
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  • Florida mother Morgan McCoy is urging parents and cannabis users to advocate for more explicit edible packaging.

  • McCoy's 6-year-old ate a 50-milligram edible she thought was candy because it came in Hawaiian Punch-inspired packaging.

  • Her daughter couldn't open her eyes, had convulsions, and needed to be hospitalized.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Morgan McCoy is advocating for more explicit edible cannabis packaging after her 6-year-old daughter accidentally ate a gummy that contained 50 milligrams of THC. Soon after, McCoy's daughter couldn't open her eyes, started having convulsions, and became unresponsive, so she took her to the emergency room.

The Florida-based mother and medical marijuana user wrote a detailed Facebook post about the events leading up to her daughter's hospitalization, and said the gummy's Hawaiian Punch-inspired packaging misled her child into thinking it was regular candy.

"I was up all night with my husband watching those machines. Her breaths per minute would drop to single digits at times, her heart rate would shoot up to alarming levels at others," McCoy wrote on Facebook about the May incident.

Since then, McCoy has reached out to local legislators, asking them to change cannabis packaging to more clearly reflect its contents. But she says she keeps getting redirected to other lawmakers, so she decided to ask other cannabis advocates and parents for help. She's also in the process of filing a class action lawsuit against the company that creates the product her child ate.

"We as parents are standing idly by while these companies are targeting our kids with what can be deadly doses of THC," McCoy wrote. "THC is a MEDICATION and needs to be packaged as such. Period."

This isn't the first time a child accidentally consumed cannabis

Reports of kids consuming cannabis are rising as the substance gains recreational and medicinal legality in an increasing number of states, Insider previously reported.

Health experts have previously warned cannabis users to keep their edible stashes away from children who might mistake the drug for candy.

One study in Colorado, for instance, found that about twice as many kids visited an emergency room for accidental THC ingestion in the years after recreational marijuana stores opened than before. Annual poison-control cases increased five-fold, according to the study.

Children feel the effects of THC more intensely

While the effects of marijuana on children are similar to those found in adults, kids under the age of 12 may experience them more intensely because of their small size, according to the Children's Hospital of Colorado.

Red eyes, paranoia, confusion, and impaired balance are all signs your child potentially consumed cannabis, Insider previously reported.

Children are not legally allowed to consume marijuana in any form, so research on the long-term effects of consuming the substance at a young age doesn't exist.

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