Island Health warns against edible pot products

Island Health's medical health officer worried more children could end up in hospital after accidentally ingesting edible pot products.

The City of Victoria’s decision not to regulate the sale of edible pot products at medical marijuana dispensaries means more children could end up in hospital after accidentally ingesting the product, according to Island Health.

Last Thursday, council voted to allow the sale of edible pot products in medical marijuana dispensaries, despite health and safety concerns raised by the province’s medical health officer, Dr. Perry Kendall.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said it’s not the city’s job to regulate what goes into the products.

“We’re already doing the work of the federal government. I am very loathe to take on the work of the provincial government,” Helps said. “It’s clearly not our job. We don’t regulate prescription drugs, we don’t see what’s in each and every pill, that’s not our job. It’s not our job to say what’s in brownies that are sold in retail outlets in our city.”

However, with no restrictions around the sale of edible pot products, Island Health’s medical health officer Dr. Murray Fyfe said it increases the likelihood that children will get their hands on the products.

“A child is naturally attracted to things like cookies, candies and brownies and they’re not going to be able to tell the difference between one with medical marijuana and one that isn’t,” Fyfe said, adding the City of Vancouver recently restricted the sale of edible products.

Fyfe said there has been research out of the U.S., where a number of states have legalized medical marijuana, increasing the availability of edible pot products. As a result, there has been a large increase in the number of children ending up in the emergency department or intensive care unit due to cannabis intoxication.

“That’s a big concern that we might see something similar here if the edible products become more available,” Fyfe added.

Island Health also has concerns about the potency of edible pot products. When eating pot products, it could take anywhere from three to four hours to feel the full effects of it, which could cause people to ingest more than needed.

“When it does hit them, they’re going to be extremely intoxicated from it,” Fyfe said. “When you inhale it and it’s a very strong dose, you can tell very quickly and basically inhale less. You can’t do that with ingested products.”

In a separate motion during Thursday’s meeting, Helps plans to write to the chief medical officer of Island Health requesting it ensures food safe requirements and medical considerations are met for the sale of edible marijuana products.

But Fyfe said that isn’t within Island Health’s jurisdiction. The health authority can monitor how the kitchen operates with respect to hygiene and cooking practices, but staff don’t have the ability to look at marijuana that might go into some of the products because there are no standards around non-medical cannabis.

City staff also brought forward other recommendations to regulate medical marijuana-related businesses.

As part of the regulations, storefront retailers must not be opened between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m., no individuals under the age of 19 are allowed, no advertising to promote the use of marijuana to a minor is allowed, and health and safety warning signs must be posted on the premises. Marijuana must not be consumed on the premise as well and the cost to obtain a businesses licence would be between $4,000 to $5,000. It also keeps marijuana businesses 200 metres apart from each other.

The bylaws will be brought forward to council again in June.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Hundreds rally in support of horse carriages outside Victoria City Hall

Crowd angry with Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion to ban local horse carriage industry

Rifflandia Festival cancelled for 2019

Early Bird tickets can be refunded at point of purchase, or held and redeemed for 2020

Five-month bridge closure poses early impacts on drivers during rush hour

Construction began Tuesday on the crossing commonly known as the Bay Street bridge

New virgin queen headlines ‘Bee Day’ at Saanich sanctuary

Taste bee spit and check out the hive at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary this Sunday

Mom who lost son to brain tumour in March joins the 24th annual Brain Tumour Walk

The Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

VIDEO: Canadian, U.S. Coast guards run oil spill response drills

20 vessels were on the water to practice international response methods

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Most Read