An operation producing cannabis-infused gummy lollies, chocolates and baked goods in Waikato has been busted by police.
The seizure of the lollies and goods such as muffins, cookies and brownies infused with the Class B drug was part of Operation Casper - an investigation into the production and distribution of cannabis edibles sold online, police said in a statement on Wednesday.
The products were being marketed and sold online via Instagram and Facebook and through a website using the alias 'Dolly's Edibles', Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said.
A search warrant on Friday, June 5, uncovered a large quantity of cannabis infused butter and a significant quantity of cannabis infused products including gummy and jelly lollies, moulded chocolates, muffins, cookies and brownies.
A 27-year-old woman appeared in the Hamilton District court on Tuesday charged with a number of drug offences relating to the production, supply and distribution of these products. She was remanded to reappear on June 24.
"The method of selling via social media platforms allows people of all ages, including children and young people, to easily purchase and obtain these products," Pitkethley said.
"Many of these baked goods and gummy or jelly lollies have the appearance of normal baked products and confectionery.
"It's important for our communities to recognise the forms these products can take and how they are distributed to help us lessen the risk of children consuming them.
"It's equally important for parents and caregivers to be aware that young people are able to purchase these products via a range of social media platforms."
The psychoactive effects from eating cannabis products will be widely variable depending on the individual, he said. There is the potential for people, whether they are familiar with cannabis or not, to eat too much, with extreme results.
It would also be extremely frightening to a person eating these products unknowingly.
"While education is a priority for us, we also remind people that cannabis oil is a Class B controlled illicit drug and it is an offence to purchase or attempt to purchase these products."
Anyone affected by drug addiction is urged to seek help through the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or free text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor.