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Ban These Cannabis Edibles to Protect Children, Says Health Official

As Canadian cannabis retailers prepare for the legalization of marijuana-infused snacks later this year, one health official is calling on the government to tighten up its regulations for edibles.

Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, is calling for the government to ban cannabis-infused candies such as gummy bears and lollipops because she says they appeal too much to children and young people.

"Lessons learned from the United States underscore the importance of preventing accidental consumption of edibles by children," De Villa stated in a recent report obtained by CBC. "Following cannabis legalization in Colorado, there was an increase in the hospitalization of children due to accidental consumption of edible cannabis prior to the introduction of more health protective regulations."

De Villa's report also raised concerns regarding the attractiveness of cannabis vape pens to youth. She wants to see candy-flavored vaporizer cartridges prohibited, and she wants a ban on showing cannabis consumption in marketing materials for movies and video games.

"Implementing restrictions through federal legislation will be most effective in preventing youth access to cannabis vaping products," De Villa writes.

But some retailers are concerned that these bans are too "overbearing" and won't actually yield the desired results.

"Obviously, no one wants to attract children" to cannabis products, said Abi Roach—owner of cannabis accessories store HotBox Cafe. Roach stressed that keeping kids away from cannabis until they're old enough is achieved through education, not bans. She also believes that parents are ultimately responsible for keeping their kids out of their stash.

"It's up to the parents who consume to keep these away from their children," she said.

But given how strict Canada's regulations already are, it wouldn't be surprising if the Canadian government adopted De Villa's recommendations.

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