Ontario man charged after 3 year old consumes unregulated edibles

| David Brown

Ontario police say they change a Quinte West man after a 3 year old consumed illegal cannabis edibles with packaging that closely resembled Skittles.

OPP say the child got access to and consumed a “dangerous amount” of cannabis edibles last Friday, before being rushed to the hospital in stable condition. The child was treated and has already been released from hospital with no reported complications.

The product, according to an image supplied buy police, shows that the product contained 20 pieces of candy with 20mg of THC in each candy, with a total of 400mg THC in the package. Such products are not legal in Canada.

Legal cannabis edibles are only allowed to contain up to 10mg THC per package. Based in part on advice from public health officials as well as policy experts in legal US States that initially struggled to curtail larger dose edibles, Health Canada placed such limitations to mitigate against accidental consumption by children. Restrictions on labeling and branding take into account similar concerns, along with child proof packaging requirements.

Police did not release the name of man who was charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Earlier this year police in Montreal said they were concerned with illicit cannabis infused candy they have seized in recent months, according to a report in La Presse. Quebec banned legal cannabis edibles in 2019 to keep them away from young people.

The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), the municipal police service for the city of Montreal, released images to the publication recently, showing products branded with well known names like Skittles and Nerds that are often sold online. Manon Dupont, head of the ACCESS (Action concertée contre l’économie souterraine) cannabis squad of the SPVM says their concern is with the potential appeal the packaging could have on children.

Health Canada issued a warning last year after several other similar instances of children consuming illegal cannabis candies and edibles.

“Canadians are reminded that they should only purchase cannabis from authorized provincial and territorial retailers, online or in brick-and-mortar stores,” the Health Canada press release said at the time. “Legal cannabis products must be sold in child-resistant and tamper-evident packaging, and the immediate container must be opaque or translucent. Edible cannabis products may legally contain a maximum of 10 milligrams of THC per package.

“All cannabis should be stored securely and out of reach of children and young persons. Cannabis should always be kept in its original child-resistant packaging. It is important to note that the tamper-evident feature on cannabis packaging is no longer effective after it has been opened.”