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Aug. 25, 2022, 1:03 p.m. EDT

Canada study shows increase in cannabis poisoning in kids up to nine years old after legalization

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By Steve Gelsi

Hospitalizations for cannabis poisoning of children zero to nine years old in Canada increased after adult use cannabis sales began in late 2018 and again after 2020 when edible cannabis products became legal in every province except Quebec, according to a study published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine. During the roughly seven-year study period from early 2015 to late 2021, 581 hospitalizations took place for for cannabis poisoning in children, at a mean age of 3.6 years, the study said. The poisoning rate for children in Ontario rose to 2.0 per 100,000 people in 2018 from 1.0 in 2015 and increased to nearly 9.0 times per 100,000 people in late 2021. The rate per 100,000 people in Alberta and British Columbia rose from 1.0 in 2015 to 3.0 in 2018 and increased again to nearly 8.0 in 2021. In Quebec, the rate was below 1.0 in 2015, moved up to about 1.5 in 2018 and rose to 3.0 in 2021. The report did not mention any fatalities from cannabis but focused instead on hospitalizations.

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