The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned parents to be alert after "many children" in the south were hospitalised after eating smuggled cannabis-infused cookies containing excessive levels of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
FDA deputy secretary-general Withid Sariddeechaikool said on Wednesday that there were reports of children falling ill and being admitted to hospitals after eating contraband chocolate cookies.
The FDA had examined samples of the cookies, which were in packages labelled "Twix Chocolate sand THC 600 MG PER BAG PER 2 Cookies". These products did not have FDA approval, Dr Withid said.
He said checks confirmed the cookies had not been imported through FDA checkpoints and had not been sold through online shops. Officials believed the cannabis cookies were smuggled into Thailand.
He did not say how many children, or how the children came into possession of and consumed the contraband cookies. Cannabis products are only for people aged 20 years or more.
Dr Withid said any cannabis-infused products must have FDA approval with the amount of THC not exceeding 1.6 milligrammes per bottle/box/sachet. Product labels must display a safe consumption recommendation, for example, "Do not consume more than two units per day (bottle/box/sachet)", and display a noticeable warning message on the product label, such as, "Children, pregnant and lactating women should not consume. If there are abnormal symptoms, stop eating immediately. Those who are allergic or sensitive to THC or CBD should be careful when eating. This product may cause drowsiness, driving should be avoided".
The FDA official said consumers should buy only products that have been approved and should be sure to read the product labels to see if they contain cannabis or not. Food products containing cannabis or hemp must display the food label and serial number, he said.