Medical marijuana regulations are designed to keep products out of children’s hands

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 8:35 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A new report from the state’s poison control center indicates calls tied to marijuana edibles are on the rise. But the information has those in the medical marijuana industry saying; don’t get it twisted. They’re wanting to set the record straight on the regulations.

”The worst exposures we see are small children, where it’s exploratory ingestion,” said Dr. David Vearrier, Director of Medical Toxicology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on Wednesday. “They see something that looks delicious. They eat it.”

But that’s exactly why those in the medical marijuana industry like Kelly Williams are speaking up.

“I think it’s important too, that we continue to distinguish, this is a legal medical cannabis program,” said Williams who is the Founder and CEO of Kelly’s Green. “Those products that you hear, there are the reports about and the families that are being hurt by that and the children are being hurt by that...those are black market products that are still out there.”

The regulations are very specific and aimed at protecting kids in particular.

“If you ever come across a product that looks cutesy, that’s not legal medical cannabis in our state,” explained President and Founder of the Mississippi Cannabis Patients Alliance Angie Calhoun.

The regulations are very specific. Here are some examples:

  • shall not be attractive to minors and shall not contain any content that reasonably appears to target children
  • should be designed to minimize appeal to children
  • must contain a label that reads: “Keep out of reach of children.”
  • must be packaged in child-resistant containers
  • shall not contain product names related to candy or candies
  • No cannabis and/or cannabis products shall be intentionally or knowingly packaged or labeled to cause a reasonable patient confusion as to whether the medical cannabis or medical cannabis product is a trademarked product or any commercially available candy, snack, baked good, or beverage.

Since edibles are often found in busts and made to look like popular candies, you should know that legal medical edibles can’t look like that at all.

“These are actually the geometric shapes that our law has intended,” added Calhoun. “This is actually a CBD gummy and it has no THC whatsoever but a square shape that is a geometric form you won’t see gummy worms or gummy bears so that would be an illicit product.”

Still, they aren’t naïve about the potential dangers.

“It would be false for any of us to say that, you know, there couldn’t be complications to a child overdosing on medical cannabis,” said Calhoun. “But if we are good parents, if we are great caregivers, we can lockbox it and dramatically drastically reduce that risk.”

To that end, the Mississippi Cannabis Patients Alliance has been promoting what they call a “Lockbox It” program. Again, in an attempt to protect kids and even pets.

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