We typically like sharing happy news with all of you that sheds a positive light on cannabis and the industry, but unfortunately a study that came out earlier this week has revealed some disappointing news. Despite the many preventative steps required by edible companies, apparently the number of children under 9 in Colorado that have been admitted to the emergency room for accidentally consuming marijuana has jumped since legalization. Both 2014 and 2015 had about double the amount of emergency room visits than the years prior to legalizing recreational cannabis. The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics and was led by a doctor that works at the University of Colorado Anshultz Medical Campus. While not all of these cannabis consumption cases were caused by edibles, the majority of them were. This has people talking about what further steps need to be taken to keep these products out of children’s hands.
Colrado has already led the way in making sure that their edible products are properly labled and even required that they be sold in child resistant packaging that is resealable. On top of that, edibles will soon all come with a special warning stamp and will no longer be allowed to come in fruit or animal shapes. At the end of the day these restrictions just might not be enough. Edibles pose a unique problem because they are virtually the only drug that is marketed in such delicious ways. From ice cream to chocolate bars, it is always going to be a challenge to explain to a child why they can’t have any. Thankfully this problem is still a relatively small issue when it comes to accidental exposures. There were 16 children under 9 years old that went to the ER in 2015. That number only makes up for about 6 of every 1000 ingestion cases contributed to cannabis. The vast majority of visits are because of cleaning products and pharmaceutical ingestion. The poison control center only has 1 in 500 of their calls be for kids under 9 consuming cannabis.
While these numbers certainly aren’t staggering, there has been an undeniable increase in these cases. So what can we do to keep these products away from children that we aren’t already doing? Some people have attributed it entirely to the fact that there are more edibles products out there in Colorado, so the chances have naturally increased. Even if that is true, I think it is clear that we need to do more to keep this from happening. Most of the children that were affected didn’t suffer any major issues, but a few of them needed assistance breathing. No child should have to go through being accidentally druggged, so please remember to keeep your edibles in a safe place away from your children.