Virginia Launches Reporting Website for Tracking Cannabis Exposure to Minors

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Health officials in Virginia are taking steps to prevent children from being exposed to or getting their hands on illegal cannabis products.

Late last month, State Health Commissioner Karen Shelton sent a letter informing clinicians about “adverse events in children” who consumed CBD or THC. “Reported symptoms for these adverse events have included vomiting, hallucinations, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, altered mental status and anxiety,” Shelton stated in the letter. She also noted that some of those children were hospitalized.

The letter asked that local health departments keep track and report minors who are hospitalized due to cannabis consumption with a “special surveillance system.” “After a hospitalization or cluster is reported, VDH staff will collect information about the illness(es), possible exposures, and laboratory results,” Shelton explained.

Since 2019, Vermont Department of Health data shows that emergency visits in children under 17 have increased. In 2019, this included just 52 emergency room visits, but this increased steadily to 29 visits in 2020, 207 in 2021, 328 in 2022, and 377 in 2023.

However, this data only covers visits to the emergency room and not all incidents overall. “As a result of these data, the special surveillance system was established in order for VDH to receive these reports directly and better assess the impact of adverse events related to consumption of products containing THC or CBD among children in the Commonwealth,” Vermont Department of Health spokesperson, Cheryle Rodriguez, told Virginia Mercury.

This new surveillance initiative includes an online portal to report future “THC and CBD adverse events.” It includes an in-depth questionnaire about the person affected, the illness and symptoms, the product that was consumed, and where it was obtained.

The portal was implemented by legislators attempting to curb cannabis access for minors. Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed two bills (Senate Bill 448 and House Bill 698) that would have legalized adult-use cannabis sales in …

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Author: Nicole Potter / High Times

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