- Since 2009, a children's hospital and regional poison-control center in Colorado have seen an explosion in the number of children under 10 who came in for treatment for marijuana exposure. One poison-control center reported a five-fold increase. In two years since recreational use of marijuana became legal in Colorado, children going to the hospital nearly doubled.
- Edible products were responsible for about half of the children needing medical attention — 48% at the hospital and 52% at the medical center. Children also were able to access the products because of poor adult supervision or product storage (34% at the poison control center) or packaging that was not child-resistant (9% at the poison control center)
- The median age of children who sought treatment at both centers was 2 years old.
Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in four states and Washington, D.C. According to The State of Legal Marijuana Markets report from ArcView Market Research and New Frontier Data, legal sales were at $5.7 billion in 2015. By the end of this year, the report projects a 26% increase, up to $7.1 billion.
Edible products with marijuana added are listed in the report as an innovative development to watch. Cannabis is added to products like chocolates, baked goods and snacks. While these sorts of products are available for purchase in places like Colorado, marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. This means there is no federal regulation for quality, dosage amounts, or packaging — which has made some manufacturers slow to wade into the segment.
The fact that children are getting a hold of marijuana products may underscore the need for more regulation. According to the report, edible products are "a unique problem because no other drug is infused into a palatable and appetizing form. These palatable products are often indistinguishable from the noninfused products."