Officers have warned the public about the dangers of taking illegal substances in the form of cannabis sweets and similar products following the death of a 23-year-old woman from Ilford.
On 29 March, the woman purchased what she thought were cannabis sweets also known as gummies via a messaging app on her phone. The items were delivered to her home address.
The woman and a 21-year-old friend each ate one sweet, and both immediately felt unwell. Officers and ambulance colleagues were called to an address in South Park Drive, Ilford at around 23:30hrs on 29 March. Both women were taken to an east London hospital.
Sadly, the 23-year-old woman died at hospital on Saturday, 2 April. The woman’s identity is not being released at this time.
A special post-mortem examination will be arranged in due course. Officers await the results of this post-mortem, and of tests on a number of sweets which has been recovered by police.
The second woman has been discharged from hospital following treatment.
Urgent enquiries are under way to establish the full circumstances and to identify any other cases where people have become seriously unwell after eating cannabis sweets, gummies and similar products.
Officers are aware of one potentially linked case in which a woman was taken unwell earlier in March after eating a cannabis sweet in Tower Hamlets. She was taken to hospital and later discharged. Enquiries are ongoing to establish whether this sweet was part of the batch of sweets associated with the Ilford death.
A man was arrested by police on Friday, 1 April. He was found to be in possession of a large quantity of cash and what were believed to be edible cannabis products. The man was charged the following day with possession with intent to supply Class B synthetic cannabinoid, being concerned in the supply of a synthetic cannabinoid, and possession with intent to supply a psychoactive substance.
Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell of the Met’s East Area BCU said: “I must warn the public against taking any illegal substances, including those packaged in the form of cannabis sweets.
“Please do not buy or consume these products. They are illegal and, because of the child-friendly packaging, they can pose a risk of accidental consumption. The particular batch of sweets were contained in packaging featuring ‘Trrlli Peachie O’s’ branding. It has not been confirmed at this stage where the sweets were manufactured.
“Drug dealers harm communities and risk the safety of individuals. We will take positive action to target those engaged in this activity as well as those found in possession of these substances.
“Anyone with information about people selling illegal products such as these is asked to speak with local officers, call police on 101 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers.”