Tokyo | Gummies allegedly containing substances derived from cannabis are under police investigation after nine people who consumed them in Tokyo were taken to the hospital recently, investigative sources said on Wednesday, Kyodo News reported.
After eating the gummies, five people in their teens to 50s, fell ill and were taken to the hospital on November 4. The gummies were handed out by a man during a festival held at a park in western Tokyo, the sources said, adding that their symptoms included vomiting.
The man later admitted to handing out the gummies. He said: "Since I ate some myself and felt good afterwards, I wanted everyone else to eat them."
The gummies were a product manufactured by a company based in Osaka City in western Japan. The ingredients included HHCH, or Hexahydrocannabinol, according to the Tokyo metropolitan and Osaka governments.
HHCH is a synthetic substance with a structure similar to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a constituent of cannabis, and can cause effects such as hallucinations and memory impairment.
According to the health ministry, while THC is banned in Japan, HHCH is not.
In another case, four people in their 20s were taken to hospital on November 3 after falling sick at Oshiage Station, a railway station in Tokyo's Sumida Ward, police said.
One of them was quoted by police as saying that they felt ill after "eating a cannabis gummy before riding the train." Although the two cases occurred on consecutive days, investigators suspect they are unrelated, police said, as per Kyodo News.