Supreme Court annuls sentence in cannabis-laced cookie incident

Maribor – The Supreme Court has annulled the 15-month suspended sentence handed out to a confectioner from Hoče for baking THC-laced cookies to a health inspector back in August 2017 and offering them to customers. The court said that it had not been proven in the trial that Nik Štekar had known that the cookies contained THC, the newspaper Večer reports.

Štekar was sentenced to the suspended prison sentence with a probation period of two years by the Maribor District Court in March 2020 as he served the cookies to four of his regular but unsuspecting customers.

He allegedly baked the cookies for Zlatko Babič, a retired health inspector and fellow resident of Hoče near Maribor, while he was not informed of the nature of the butter Babič provided as part of a cookie baking request.

Štekar reportedly baked roughly a kilo of cookies with the THC-laced butter, keeping a share of the product for himself and offering it at one point to four guests without a warning.

Two of the guests – one said he had had ten pieces – ended up in hospital to be diagnosed with THC poisoning.

The verdict was upheld by the Maribor Higher Court, with the newspaper Delo reporting at the time that the judges said that an explanation different than that he had known about the content of the cookies could not be accepted.

They noted that Štekar had told the guests, who later had to seek medical attention, that there was nothing hazardous in the cookies, which was an unusual thing to say when food is served in an establishment where food was supposed to be harmless.

Štekar’s defence turned to the Supreme Court, which has recently ruled that it had not been proven in the trial that Štekar had known that the cookies contained THC, Večer reported on Monday.

Annulling the rulings of the district and higher courts, the Supreme Court said a retrial should be held before a different judge, so the file has been handed to Mateja Kamenšek Gornik, the newspaper added.

When the new judge asked the defendant last week if he would defend himself, he said that he had already said everything he had to say.

Večer notes that Babič explained in the first trial that he had asked the confectioner if he would bake him cookies with THC, and that Štekar had agreed to this. Babič confirmed this last week when he appeared in court as a witness.

The trial will continue on 21 June, the newspaper adds.