The Most Pernicious Marijuana Myth, Debunked

COLORADO:  If you read the national headlines or watch the reports on TV, you’d think there was a dangerous epidemic sweeping the nation’s youngsters. According to a recent study, more kids are accidentally ingesting their parents’ cannabis, especially in states where the herb is legal. When marijuana-laced edibles are wrapped in darling packaging to look like delicious cookies, brownies, chocolate bars and ice cream sandwiches, it follows that a few kids will accidentally eat them.

However, the general reaction to the study is waxing hysterical. In reality, as Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project pointed out in an email, the actual statistics of the study aren’t as alarming as they seem.

In the pot-legal state of Colorado, for example, where there are likely more marijuana businesses (and treats) than anywhere in the world, the study notes that the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center (RMPDC) received 151 calls about marijuana exposure in 2014, 45 of which involved children 8 years old and younger. Those incidents should be taken seriously. But they don’t seem so outstanding when you stack them next to the 2,690 calls about children 5 and under being exposed to cosmetics, 1,495 regarding household cleaning product exposure, and 739 calls regarding vitamins—all of which RMPDC received in 2011.

Published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, the study concluded accidental exposure to pot is increasingly common for children. It based its data on analysis of self-reported incidents between 2000 to 2013 from the National Poison Data System, which gathers its statistics from all of the poison control centers in the country. Naturally, pot-laced treats were the most common offender.

Washington Sees Spike In Edible Marijuana Use In Children

WASHINGTON: A recently released report said Washington state has seen a spike in 2015 in children under 5-years-old exposed to edible marijuana.

Marijuana edibles usually come in forms that could be attractive to kids – brownies, muffins, cookies, candy.

Spokane Regional Health District said they got a report from the Washington Poison Center saying that around 30 percent of edible marijuana intoxication cases were children 5-years-old or younger.

 

District Growers Brings First Ever ‘Marijuana Edible,’ Cold-Pressed Juice, To D.C.’s Medical Pot Market

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  D.C.’s medical marijuana market has its first “edible,” a cold-pressed cannabis-infused juice.

Metropolitan Wellness Center, one of D.C.’s three medical marijuana dispensaries, is now stocking the line.

“We have been eager to provide our members with a variety of alternatives when it comes to cannabis consumption,” Metropolitan Wellness Center founder Mike Cuthriell tells Cannabis Business Executive.

Edible Marijuana Labels Often Have Potency Wrong, Study Says

CALIFORNIA:  An analysis of 75 edible marijuana products sold to patients in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles found that labels on just 17 percent accurately described their levels of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient, researchers reported Tuesday.

Sixty percent of the products had less THC than their packages advertised, and 23 percent of them had more THC than claimed.

“We need a more accurate picture of what’s being offered to patients,” said Dr. Donald Abrams, the chief of hematology and oncology at San Francisco General Hospital. He was not involved in the new study, which was published in JAMA.

“What we have now in this country is an unregulated medical marijuanaindustry, due to conflicts between state and federal laws,” Dr. Abrams said.

 

San Francisco’s First Marijuana ‘Baked Sale’ Shows That Edibles Are The Next Multimillion-Dollar Food Industry

CALIFORNIA:  Last weekend, thousands from the Bay Area poured into the outdoor SoMa StrEAT Food Park for the Get Baked Sale, the first annual food rally for marijuana edibles enthusiasts.

Cannabis is only legal for medicinal use in California, though momentum is growing among supporters who seek to legalize its recreational use in a 2016 ballot initiative. Attendees at the fair had to present a state-authorized medical marijuana identification card at the door and pay $20 in order to enter.

Not unlike most smorgasbords, booths (selling mind-altering treats) lined the urban park. Some vendors lured people over with gimmicks, like free vape pens and a lottery wheel to win a THC-laced doughnut. We saw the usual suspects, pot brownies and cookies, and more daring confections, such as cannabis-infused fortune cookies, mini doughnuts, and ice cream. The crowd was unsurprisingly chill.

 

 

Licensed Pot Producers Are Wary Of High Court Ruling On Edible Marijuana

CANADA:  Marijuana-medicated brownies, teas and oils are now on the menu for patients who prefer ingesting their treatment, yet commercially licensed pot producers say a high court ruling doesn’t set out clear directions for them.

Lawyers at the cannabis industry’s national association are hashing out the impact of a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Thursday that struck down limits on what constitutes legally allowable forms of medicinal pot.

“It’s certainly confusing,” said Eric Paul, a director on the board of the Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association.

“Does this mean the legislation we’re governed by . . . gives us the right to provide oral products or edibles or some other form?

 

Vancouver’s 4/20 Marijuana Smoke Fest Sees 64 Taken To Hospital

CANADA:  Vancouver’s 4/20 marijuana-smoking rally led to hospitalization for 64 revelers Monday, turning a celebratory occasion into a headache for ER workers.

“Sixty-four people in the emergency department is a large number, in an already busy emergency department,” Providence Health Care spokesperson Dave Lefebvre told CBC.

Patients were complaining of nausea, vomiting, palpitations and “a decreased level of consciousness,” Lefebvre said.

Authorities speculate that many revelers were consuming marijuana in edible form and thus unaware of the strengths of the dosages ingested.

Children Involved In Marijuana-Related Calls To Oregon Poison Center

OREGON:  Eleven preschool-aged children were treated at Oregon healthcare facilities for marijuana ingestion in 2014, according to Oregon Poison Center data.

The previous year, seven children younger than 5 were treated at a healthcare facility after ingesting cannabis. In 2012, the number was 10.

The Oregon Poison Center, a statewide agency, does not track the types of marijuana ingested – whether the child ate a marijuana-infused edible or some other form of the drug — or the circumstances around the incident.

“These are small numbers,” said Dr. Zane Horowitz, medical director of the Oregon Poison Center as well as a medical toxicologist and an emergency room physician. “There are about 10 young children under the age of 5 per year, most likely inadvertently getting into marijuana that’s left unattended and unsecured.”

 

A Delay In Marijuana-Infused Edibles Makes Sense

OREGON:  Oregon regulators trying to find a way to safely craft a recreational marijuana program have asked lawmakers for a delay of up to a year to figure out the best approach for pot-infused edibles: candy, cookies and other foods laced with THC. This would allow the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, charged with helping the Legislature implement and later regulate the voter-approved Measure 91, to focus on the equally gnarly challenges of making retail pot available in storefront settings by 2016 and in reconciling a recreational pot trade with Oregon’s already mature medical marijuana program. It’s a smart request, and the Legislature’s joint committee on implementing Measure 91 should say yes to it. Oregonians can wait a bit for their magic brownies.

Mainly, the OLCC wants to know how to ensure the creation of food products with safe marijuana dosages and to demand edibles whose serving sizes are carefully metered and recognizable to consumers. It has wisely asked the Oregon Health Authority to convene a panel to determine whether the Colorado and Washington standard of 10 milligrams per serving has pharmacologic meaning and, if followed as a guide in consumption, ensures safety. Separately but significantly, the agency asks, in an April 1 memo: “How many servings should there be in one product?” It may seem like a simple arithmetic question, but it cuts to a potentially dangerous challenge in dosing: If you have in your hands what looks like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that is laced with five servings’ worth of THC, you’ll be in a world of pharmacologic hurt if you fail to note the instructions, break it into pieces and nibble on just one tidbit. Perhaps THC shouldn’t be delivered in multiple doses at all in one food item.

Colorado Lawmaker Predicts ‘We Will See Cannabis Clubs Similar To Bars’

COLORADO:  Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, has been a leading voice on how Colorado’s medical and recreational marijuana industries are regulated, carrying most of the most important bills and providing testimony and experts on nearly all of them.

Singer, 36, has represented House District 11 — which also includes northern Boulder County, most of Niwot, Allenspark and parts of Lyons — since 2012. He has undergraduate and master’s degrees in social work from Colorado State University. He is a former board member for the CSU Drug and Alcohol Task Force and the CSU Counseling Center.

He is vice chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and serves on several key committees: Appropriations; Health, Insurance and Environment; Joint Technology; and Public Health Care and Human Services.

The following is a Q&A with Singer about Colorado marijuana issues, from regulations for public use and edibles to the potential ramifications of federal rescheduling: