This week, a study published in JAMA Pediatrics noted a rise in hospitalizations for kids that accidentally consume marijuana.
The study stated that hospital visits for kids under the age of 10 linked to marijuana ingestion rose from seven in 2013 to 16 visits in 2015. Calls to poison control also rose during this time period from 25 to 47.
The release of the study findings has generated considerable attention. Anti-marijuana groups have been quick to jump on the new statistics.
Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, tweeted “More kids in hospitals in CO after legalization – says JAMA. The science is undeniable here. Legalization hurts.”
While fears of marijuana poisoning for children are valid, they could be a bit overblown. The Washington Post recently posted a chart that extracted information from the National Poison Data System, an organization that tracks virtually every call made to poison control centers. Calls to centers for poisoned children are much more likely to be due to the ingestion of diaper cream, pain relievers such as ibuprofen, tobacco, contact lens fluid, detergents, and many other items commonly found around the home.
While still a federally banned Schedule I substance, marijuana has shown great potential as a medicine. However, it may not be treated as a medicine by all consumers. Child proof containers are the norm for opiate based medications. However, most dispensaries do not utilize this kind of packaging.
Packaging companies may be able to help bridge this gap. Kush Bottles has child proof storage options. Another company, Cannaline, has been working hard to introduce new child proof packaging. “Cannaline is actively working on a flexible packaging solution for flower, edibles, concentrates, and anything else that requires a child resistant, tamper evident, container” Founder of Cannaline, Arnold Heckman told us.
The issue of packaging in Colorado has received the attention of state lawmakers. Authorities have suggested labels on edible products that warn about the inclusion of THC.
With approximately half of Americans states legalizing some form of medical marijuana and more likely to be on the way after the 2016 election, packaging and safety concerns will only increase. The good news is that this issue is receiving attention even in the infancy of legalized marijuana.