2 New Crises Emerge in Canada's Pot Plan

Officials fret over kids and edibles as the nation's legal weed supply runs out
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2018 4:30 PM CST
Canada Has a New Worry About Pot—and Kids
In this Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 photo medicated High Chew edibles are shown on display and offered for sale at the cannabis-themed Kushstock Festival at Adelanto, Calif.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

(Newser) – Canada seems to enjoy getting high, but officials there have a new worry: children and edible pot. Edibles aren't legal in Canada yet—that won't happen until at least 2019—but more young people are being hospitalized for marijuana poisoning as officials grasp the appeal of cannabis-infused gummy bears and cookies for kids, per the Guardian. "We've seen a spike for sure," says Margaret Thompson, director of the Ontario Poison Centre. Indeed, Ontario and Alberta saw nearly 600 people under age 20 poisoned by marijuana in 2017, and 24 kids age three and under rushed to ERs from downing cannabis edibles. "Will we see a huge increase as they did in some of the United States?" she asks. "I can't say for sure."

Several US states saw cannabis-related hospitalizations jump after marijuana was legalized. Colorado clamped down, saying edibles can't resemble fruit, people, or animals, and must have limited THC content. But in Canada—just three weeks into legalization—edibles are still sold illegally, so labels may not be accurate as marijuana gummy bears and brownies end up in family homes, per Global News. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Canada is actually running out of legal weed. The nation's low supply is reviving the black market, which legalization was intended to curb. "Producers can add more people to try and meet demand," says a Quebecois cannabis official. "But that won’t make the plants grow any faster." (One US state just approved, and another rejected, recreational pot.)

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