ESKASONI – The cake mishap that led to a number of Eskasoni Immersion School students and teachers unknowingly consuming a cannabis edible is upsetting some community members.
RCMP confirmed in a news release that they are investigating the incident that happened on Friday at the Primary to Grade 4 school during an event where food was served. One of the desserts was a molasses cake which police believe contained cannabis.
"Following the event, a number of adults and children sought medical attention after feeling ill. Of the several individuals who went to the hospital, some tested positive for THC,” said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke.
Clarke confirmed one person was taken to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital by ambulance and said she thinks fewer than 10 people were affected by the cannabis cake. It is believed everyone has recovered or is recovering from unknowingly ingesting the cannabis product.
The Eskasoni School Board posted a notice on its Facebook page on Saturday about the cannabis edible being put out with the other desserts served during their midwinter feast. The post urged people who felt ill to seek medical attention and warned against eating any leftover food that may have been taken home from the event.
Attempts to reach a representative from the school or school board were unsuccessful by press deadline.
Frank Denny’s two children, ages eight and five, attend the school. Although his children didn’t eat the cannabis-infused cake, he thinks the school should have told parents about the incident quicker than they did.
“I was really mad... It happened on Friday. They knew later that day. We didn’t find out until Saturday night,” said Denny who had his children tested for THC at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital as a precaution.
“First of all, (the school) should apologize. But the only thing I’m really mad about is they didn’t let us know right away when they did... I found out through Facebook.”
Some Facebook posts and memes joking about the incident are also upsetting many in the community, including some family members of people who were ill after eating the cannabis cake.
Dr. Margaret Fraser works in the emergency room at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and she said unknowingly consuming a cannabis edible, especially for children, is no laughing matter.
“Edible products tend to contain higher concentrations of cannabis. Effects on children have not been studied due to ethical concerns, and effects would also vary depending on the strain used and the concentration of THC,” she said.
“However, cannabis can affect balance, coordination, concentrating, breathing and behaviour. In high doses, it can cause depressed respiration and coma. In adolescents, there has been an association with onset schizophrenia... We had a lot of children in the ER yesterday. A lot of parents were wild, and rightfully so.”
Fraser said it seemed no children were hurt from ingesting the cake, “but it could have been much more serious.”
RCMP are asking anyone who may have attended the event and gotten ill after to call them at 902-379-2822 even if they didn’t seek medical attention. Anyone who calls is asked to reference case file 2020147715.