Virginia health groups back effort to crack down on THC products
‘Our members have been alarmed by the recent surge of cases involving children’
The leaders of four Virginia health care groups are urging Gov. Glenn Youngkin to sign legislation that would impose strict new limits on hemp-derived products that contain intoxicating amounts of THC, the compound in marijuana that gets users high, as well as potential fines on retailers that sell them.
In the letter dated Thursday, the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, Medical Society of Virginia, Virginia College of Emergency Physicians and Virginia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics called the bills “critically important to public health and safety.”
“They are especially important to ensure the well-being of children, many of whom have been poisoned after accessing and ingesting unregulated delta-8-THC, delta-9-THC, and other synthetic marijuana-like products,” the coalition wrote. “As healthcare workers, our members have been alarmed by the recent surge of cases involving children who consumed these products.”
Data from Virginia hospitals collected by the VHHA shows a sizable uptick in pediatric emergency room visits related to cannabis ingestion. There were 369 such visits in the third quarter of 2021. The number grew to 583 visits in the second quarter of 2022, the most recent period for which data was available. The aggregate data doesn’t include specific information on the types of THC products driving the spike.
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