Preventing Unintentional Ingestion of Marijuana by ChildrenHIA of Marijuana Packaging Regulations Page 3
The legalization of recreational marijuana by the State of Colorado raises concerns about theunintentional ingestion of marijuana by children. In July and August of 2013, the Colorado StateLicensing Authority formed working groups to develop the final regulatory structure for retailmarijuana in the state. To inform this process, we conducted a Health Impact Assessmentfocused on the issue of preventing unintended ingestion of marijuana by children and the potential role that the use of child-resistant packaging could play at mitigating the problem.After reviewing the scientific evidence and incorporating stakeholder input, we make thefollowing recommendations:1.
All retail marijuana and marijuana products should leave retail establishments in child-resistant packaging as defined by ASTM International and the Poison PreventionPackaging Act of 1970 (PPPA)2.
All child-resistant packaging should be opaque3.
All child-resistant packaging should be re-closeable
Allowances should be made to re-use appropriate child-resistant packages
Preventing accidental ingestion of marijuana by children is a high priority for Colorado and the
. Following the legalization of medical marijuana in Colorado in 2000 and theFederal G
overnment’s decision in 2009 not to prosecute in medical marijuana states, Children’s
Hospital Colorado saw a large increase in the number of pediatric patients who presented to theEmergency Room with marijuana-related health consequences.
From January 2005 toSeptember 2009, of 790 children under 12 years of age screened for marijuana, none were foundto be positive for exposure to marijuana.
From October 2009 to December 2011, when medicalmarijuana expanded significantly in Colorado, 14 of 588 children under 12 years of age tested positive for marijuana exposure.
In 2012, Amendment 64 was passed in Colorado legalizing and regulating recreational marijuanasales to adults over the age of 21. It is anticipated that this measure will further increase theavailability of marijuana and marijuana-products (i.e. loose-leaf products, candies, baked goods,infused fruit drinks, etc.) throughout the state and further increase the risk of and number of unintentional ingestions of marijuana by children. Given this concern, the state of Colorado hasa responsibility to take steps to prevent unintentional ingestion of marijuana by children.On May 28
, 2013, Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law a number of pieces of legislation, including HB 13-1317, that took steps to establish the legal and regulatory structurefor marijuana in Colorado. HB 13-1317 created the State Licensing Authority which wasresponsible for regulating medical and retail marijuana. The bill also specified that regulationsshould require packaging similar to those required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970.