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Preventing Unintentional Ingestion of Marijuana by Children: A Health Impact Assessment of Packaging Regulations in Retail Marijuana Establishments in Colorado

Preventing Unintentional Ingestion of Marijuana by Children: A Health Impact Assessment of Packaging Regulations in Retail Marijuana Establishments in Colorado

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Published by Medicinal Colorado
We conducted a Health Impact Assessment focused 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.
We conducted a Health Impact Assessment focused 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.

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Published by: Medicinal Colorado on Aug 22, 2013
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Preventing Unintentional Ingestion of Marijuana by ChildrenHIA of Marijuana Packaging Regulations Page 1
Preventing Unintentional Ingestion of Marijuana byChildren: A Health Impact Assessment of PackagingRegulations in Retail Marijuana Establishments inColorado
August 2013Jodi K. Duke, MPH CPH
 – 
 Jodi.Duke@ucdenver.edu Katherine CollinsRobin Kimbrough-Melton, JDHeidi Baskfield, JDGregory J. Tung, MPH PhDThis Health Impact Assessment is a joint effort between the Pediatric Injury PreventionEducation and Research Program at the Colorado School of Public Health and the
Children’s Health Advocacy Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado
 
 
Preventing Unintentional Ingestion of Marijuana by ChildrenHIA of Marijuana Packaging Regulations Page 2
The following organizations endorse the recommendations of this Health Impact Assessment:
 
Preventing Unintentional Ingestion of Marijuana by ChildrenHIA of Marijuana Packaging Regulations Page 3
Executive Summary
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
4.
Allowances should be made to re-use appropriate child-resistant packages
 
Background
Preventing accidental ingestion of marijuana by children is a high priority for Colorado and the
state’s citizens
. 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.
1
 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.
1
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.
1
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
th
, 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.

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