Two employees of Shelburne Farms were treated at a Burlington hospital after they unsuspectedly ate marijuana-laced chocolates left behind by guests, Shelburne Police said Wednesday.
Police and rescue responded to the Inn at Shelburne Farms about 10:22 a.m. for a complaint that an employee had become ill and was lying in the parking lot, Officer Josh Flore said. The initial call indicated the employee was unconscious, but she was conscious by the time first responders arrived.
When police arrived, they determined the two women had become ill after eating chocolates. The chocolates had been left behind by two California guests, who had already checked out, police said.
The two guests were later reached by phone and cooperated with police, Flore said. The investigation revealed the chocolates were marijuana edibles and the guests had made a decision not to carry them on in their travels, Flore said.
The two workers consumed one chocolate each, police said. Five more chocolates were found in a candy box.
Police said no criminal charges are being sought against the guests that stayed at the historic inn on Lake Champlain.
Flore said Shelburne Rescue transported the two women to University of Vermont Medical Center for evaluation. Their conditions were not immediately known.
Police said in this case the edibles looked like the malted milk ball candies known as “Whoppers.”
Many marijuana edibles available will have the same appearance as everyday food items. Flore urged the public to be safe and considerate.
“If a person does possess marijuana edibles, please make sure the edibles are kept secure and out of reach of children and unwilling participants,” the veteran officer said.
He said effective July 1, Vermont’s new marijuana law makes it illegal to possess more than one ounce of marijuana.
Holly Brough, director of communications at Shelburne Farms said, “Our expectation is that food left behind in any room is not to be consumed, which is the norm in the hospitality industry.”
She said personal items left behind are brought to the front desk and are returned to the guests. Following this incident, we will be reviewing our staff training programs to ensure that all employees understand this expectation, she added.
Shelburne Farms also provided the following statement about the two ill employees: “We are pleased to report that both Farm employees involved in this incident have been released from the hospital and are expected to fully recover,” it said.
“This morning, they unknowingly consumed marijuana that had been brought in and left behind at the Inn by a guest. Shelburne Farms’ priority is the health, well-being, and privacy of our employees and guests,” the statement said.