Police in Ohio are searching for a man they believe distributed marijuana-laced candy that sickened 24 people at a music festival Saturday.
No fatalities were reported at the Ohio Dreams sports camp complex in Butler, about 60 miles northeast of Columbus, where the weekend-long EST 2016 rap music festival was being held. The concert was dubbed “The Last Weekend on Earth.”
Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Maj. Joe Masi told reporters that someone began tossing bags of the colorful candy into the crowd Saturday morning.
The packages contained about 20 pieces each and were marked “prescribed medibles” with a reference to a commercial candy brand, according to photos posted to social media.
Masi said each piece had “a very, very high dose of THC,” the chemical that gives marijuana its mind-altering effects. Only one or two candies would get a user high, but some people were eating whole packages, officials said.
Starting around 4 p.m., ambulances loaded with overdose victims were arriving at OhioHealth in nearby Mansfield, said hospital spokeswoman Nikki Workman.
She said 24 people were treated, including with the overdose antidote naloxone, and arrivals had ended by early evening.
“I feel like it’s under control at this point,” she said.
Local officials described the suspect as a white man, standing about 5’6″ and wearing a red hat with a gray bill and a black shirt with a marijuana leaf on the front.
The festival, headlined by Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly, was set to continue through the weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.