SHELBURNE, Vt. — The box that a guest at a four-star inn left behind was labeled "salted caramel chocolates."
The candies were actually marijuana edibles potent enough to leave a Shelburne Farms employee so ill she was found lying in the inn's driveway.
That employee and another were taken to the hospital after eating a few pieces of the chocolate and becoming sick, Shelburne Police Officer Joshua Flore said.
"They certainly weren't in any shape to work," he said of the two women.
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The pot candy was not in its original packaging, Flore said. The box did not reflect any information about the true nature of the chocolate, the presence of marijuana or its potency.
The candies looked like malted milk balls.
"It had held chocolates prior," Flore said of the box.
The two guests who left the edibles will not face charges, he said. They had checked out of the inn earlier Wednesday.
Police believe that the edibles were purchased outside of Vermont. Beginning July 1, people age 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, and if they want to grow their own, they can have two mature plants and four immature pot plants per housing unit if their landlord approves.
Police were dispatched to the inn, less than 10 miles southwest of Vermont's largest city of Burlington, shortly before 10:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.
Flore declined to comment on the severity of the workers' conditions and did not identify them.
“They have been taken to the hospital and we hope they will make a full recovery soon," Shelburne Farms officials said in a statement issued through police. "We are doing our best to be careful about protecting the privacy of our employees.”
Shelburne Farms is not only a seasonal luxury hotel and restaurant open this year until Oct. 21 but also a 1,400-acre working farm, forest and National Historic Landmark that seeks to educate about sustainability.
In light of marijuana laws that will go into effect in 2½ weeks, it is even more important for people to refrain from eating things if they aren't aware of the source, Flore said. He also encouraged people who do possess marijuana edibles to keep them out of reach of children and others.
It is unclear how the 1-ounce limit will be enforced when it comes to edibles.
"The last thing we want is for kids or pets or an unintended party to start popping chocolates that aren't necessarily chocolate," Flore said. "I think that's the big lesson here."
Follow Elizabeth Murray on Twitter: @LizMurrayBFP