RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares hosted a school safety webinar on the dangers of THC edibles facing children across the state.
According to Miayres and his guests in the webinar, there has been an explosion of THC edible products that appear indistinguishable from regular snack products. In Miyares’ address, he specifically called back to an incident that occurred in April involving three infants that were taken to the hospital after ingesting THC-infused goldfish crackers.
“I kind of view myself as the people’s protector,” Miyares said. “The one consistent thing I’ve found, from so many parents…They’re so concerned about what they’re seeing on the streets; what they’re seeing with these THC edibles…they’re on the street and they’re affecting our kids.”
Miyares said his office would be cracking down on anyone distributing these products illegally.
Dr. Christopher Holstege from the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine joined the webinar and stated that during his experience as director of the Blue Ridge Poison Control Center, the facility saw over over 221 patients since 2020 who had adverse reactions to THC edibles. He also said that prior to 2020, Blue Ridge did not see any children ingesting edibles.
Holstege also said that for many products, the dosage on the package labeling is inconsistent and inaccurate. The packaging of these products also does little to distinguish them from regular snacks and candies, which is especially an issue for children.
“It is certainly difficult for young children to be able to know what is candy and what is not,” Holstege said.
Holstege explained that the health effects of THC products tend to be more severe in children because of their smaller stature, making standard dosages of THC have a stronger effect. He also said that THC products are known to have negative effects on developing brains.
“This is a bit unique in that it is impacting the toddler age groups,” Holstege said, comparing the surge in popularity of these products to other THC products in the past. “That is something that really worries me right now in regards to our society.”
Holstege gave some guidance on what symptoms to look out for in children and young people who may be having an adverse reaction to THC products:
- Increased anxiety
- Agitation and tremulous behavior
- Profound sedation
- Problems breathing
The full webinar can be viewed here.