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Cannabis concerns Gardai say investigations are ongoing into seizure of variety of drugs in Dun Laoghaire

A taskforce has now been established to detect and stop the import and sale of cannabis edibles

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Some of the drugs seized in Dun Laoghaire

Some of the drugs seized in Dun Laoghaire

Some of the drugs seized in Dun Laoghaire

Gardai have said investigations are ongoing into the seizure of a variety of drugs in Dun Laoghaire last week. 

The Dun Laoghaire Divisional Drugs unit carried out a search under warrant on July 29.

Cannabis herb, jellies, syrup and CBD were all seized with an estimated value in excess of €7,000.

They said that one man who was arrested has since been released without charge.

Last month we reported how cannabis jellies are now so prevalent in some secondary schools that principals have written to parents to warn them about the emergence of the drugs, sold in the form of sweets

A taskforce has now been established to detect and stop the import and sale of cannabis edibles, a senior garda confirmed

Representatives from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), An Garda Síochána, the HSE, Revenue, and Customs have been assigned to the new taskforce to examine this emerging drug trend.

One month earlier, two young boys aged three and four were treated in Temple Street Hospital after eating cannabis jellies.

This incident followed an increasing number of children and teens presenting at hospitals after eating sweets laced with cannabis.

Dr Pat O’Mahony, a scientist with the FSAI and a member of the new taskforce, said the availability of cannabis jellies in schools was of “major concern.

“Cannabis jellies are widely available in some secondary schools in Dublin. That’s a real worry. Some schools in Dublin have already taken proactive action and written to parents warning them. This is a matter of serious concern. I will be suggesting a memo to the Department of Education to warn all educators,” he said.

A senior garda also told the Sunday Independent the force has identified an “increase in the prevalence of edible cannabis products”

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Detective Chief Superintendent Angela Willis, of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB), said: “The Garda Síochána through the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau are participating in multi-agency collaboration regarding an increase identified in the prevalence of cannabis edible products.

While cannabis edibles look and taste like sweets, they can contain significant levels of the psychotropic drug THC.

The taskforce intends to send some of the seized edibles for analysis to determine the exact levels of THC in the sweets seized by garda and Customs officers.

“There is a lot we still don’t know,” said Dr O’Mahony. “The next step is for some of the seized edibles to be sent for further analysis. What we do know is they are being imported, and this is a problem that can only get worse. It is drug trafficking in the food system. It’s brand new to us, and we’re trying to get a handle on it."

Revenue officials said seizures of cannabis products have almost tripled between 2019 and 2020 — from 515kg (€10m worth) to 1,439kg (€28.6m worth).

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