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Oklahoma Tackles Increase in Child Cannabis Edible Incidents

New safety measures and education proposed as child exposures to cannabis edibles rise in Oklahoma.

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After a rise in accidental ingestion of cannabis edibles by children, Oklahoma lawmakers and health experts convened on Monday to address the issue, which has intensified since the state’s initiation of its medical marijuana program in 2018. The Oklahoma Poison Center reported 269 pediatric marijuana exposures in 2022, with 65% involving edibles.

From 2018 to 2023, the number of THC tests performed on children under 5 by Integris Health surged by 110%. Nationally, calls to poison control centers about cannabis edibles soared by 1,357% from 2017 to 2021, reported The Journal Record.

Oklahoma mandates child-resistant edible packaging and clear labels. However, issues with products resembling commercial candy brands persist. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is actively working to address such packaging issues. Proposals include dispensary patient education, mandatory renewal tests, and child-proof lockboxes. State Rep. Cynthia Roe emphasized the focus on preventing accidental consumption, not on hindering responsible medical use.

While federal funding for marijuana use prevention is scarce, some states, such as Michigan, provide prevention funding, including lock bags and boxes at dispensaries. Oklahoma offers prenatal cannabis toolkits and promotes safe storage online.

Cannabis in Oklahoma has been legal for medical use since 2018 with a state-issued license, while recreational use still remains illegal. A first-time offense of possessing any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor and can still bring a one-year imprisonment and a fine of $1000.

 

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