Mom Calls for Clearer Marijuana Edibles Packaging After 6-Year-Old Accidentally Eats THC Gummy
A Florida mom is pushing for safer packaging of marijuana edibles after she says her 6-year-old daughter accidentally ate a THC gummy, believing it was candy.
Morgan McCoy called the Memorial Day weekend incident "one of the scariest moments" of her life after she found her daughter unresponsive and spent the night in the hospital.
The Pensacola mom later confirmed that her 6-year-old accidentally consumed a Faded Fruits Hawaiian Punch gummy, which contained 50mg of THC, according to her June 1 Facebook post.
For context, McCoy said she usually takes 25mg to "knock myself out... for sleep or severe pain only." Periodic Edibles advises those who are new to edibles to start "low and go slow" by consuming only 5mg of THC.
"I never want another parent to go through that. The next one may not be so lucky," McCoy wrote in her post. "Had there been more than ONE [gummy] in that package, it is more than likely that I would not have my daughter today."
PEOPLE was unable to reach Faded Fruits for comment.
McCoy, who works as a realtor, said the incident unfolded as she was visiting her in-laws in Jacksonville with her husband and daughter, according to her post.
About 30-40 friends and their families were also there for the weekend, and McCoy noted that many of them were "legal, medical marijuana patients."
While McCoy had temporarily stepped out to see her siblings, she said one of her in-laws' friends jumped into the pool fully clothed, with the Hawaiian Punch gummy package in their pocket.
"They ran in and got out of the wet clothes.. grabbed the bag and put it in the dresser between some clothes while they went to change," McCoy wrote. "My daughter went in looking for HER clothes because this is the room she normally stays in... she came across the bag and, like any 6-year-old would, she ate the candy."
McCoy said she came back to the home a few hours later and found all the kids sleeping, which didn't seem out of the ordinary because they had been in the sun all day.
But things took a scary turn when that same parent suggested that McCoy's daughter may have consumed their 50mg THC gummy.
"I ran inside and calmly picked her up and moved her from the ground to the couch," she recalled in the post. "She couldn't open her eyes, she was completely non-responsive and when I laid her down she kind of braced herself like she felt like she was falling."
RELATED VIDEO: Georgia Couple Loses Custody of Son After Letting Him Use Marijuana to Stop Seizures
Later, McCoy said, her daughter started seizing, which made her panic even more.
After calling 911, the child was transported to a hospital, where she remained overnight. McCoy said all doctors could do was "monitor her and give her fluids."
"I was up all night with my husband watching those machines," she wrote. "Her breaths per minute would drop to single digits at times, her heart rate would shoot up to alarming levels at others. It was one of the scariest moments of my life."
Thankfully, her daughter recovered, but McCoy said another parent may not be so lucky and urged companies to change their packaging so children are not tempted to eat their products.
"Had the packaging been what it should be... my daughter wouldn't have looked twice at it," she wrote. "There needs to be regulation in place to keep companies from putting stuff like this on the market."
McCoy argued that several products in stores currently have child locks on them, including Tide Pods, Tylenol Chewables and vitamins, and called for marijuana gummy packaging to be federally regulated too.
She also said she's reached out to multiple legislators and a civil attorney that handles class action suits in order to make a change, but is waiting to hear back.
"We as parents are standing idly by while these companies are targeting our kids with what can be deadly doses of THC," she wrote. "In my eyes, this company is guilty of not only negligence but child endangerment on a national scale. And so is our country if we continue to stand idly by."
Finishing her post, McCoy urged those interested in helping to contact local legislators, the Consumer Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, state health departments and the Federal Drug Administration.
"THC is a MEDICATION and needs to be packaged as such. Period," she added. "This packaging is simply unacceptable."
In a statement to Today, Morgan Fox, the media relations director at the National Cannabis Industry Association, suggested that the gummy may have been an "unregulated" or "illicit" product due to its dosage and the lack of information about the company.
"Ten milligram individual unit dosage is becoming the industry standard," Fox told Today. "There is some variation on the amount of, like, total THC allowed per package, but for the most part, it's around 100 milligrams. And there's also rules about the individual dosing, being very easily demarcated, so you can't just have a cookie that has 100 milligrams. It would have to be very clearly delineated into 10 pieces."