Thursday, November 20, 2014

City hosting medical marijuana symposium tonight

Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall 
5:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. 

Medical marijuana businesses in Seattle and in jurisdictions across the state remain unregulated.  In March, a state court of appeals ruled that collective gardens (dispensaries) are not legal under Washington's current law.  

The Mayor's Office organized this symposium for those concerned about access to medical marijuana and the location of marijuana-related businesses in the city.  

“We are still looking to Olympia to enact broad medical marijuana reform next session, but we need to take action here in Seattle to address immediate concerns of patients, businesses and neighbors,” said Mayor Ed Murray. 

The symposium will feature panel discussions on a range of issues where medical marijuana businesses face a much more uncertain regulatory landscape than recreational marijuana operations governed by the state’s Liquor Control Board, including:
  • Testing of marijuana products for purity and strength
  • Best practices for manufacturing marijuana-infused products
  • Packaging and labeling requirements
  • The location of dispensaries and collective gardens

Poison Center reports spike in pediatric exposure to marijuana 
This event comes a week after the Washington Poison Center reported a spike in marijuana exposures among children and teenagers.  The report notes that with only a handful of recreational marijuana stores open in the state, the majority of exposures likely result from marijuana obtained at medical marijuana dispensaries. “The medical marijuana industry is largely unregulated and not subject to the scrutiny and oversight by the Liquor Control Board that recreational marijuana must go through”, says Dr. Garrard, Clinical Managing Director of the Washington Poison Center.

Overdoses among children
Marijuana overdoses in children have caused seizures, hallucinations, paranoia, breathing problems that sometimes require mechanical ventilation until breathing returns to normal, and extremely high heart rates.  Children may become lethargic, disoriented, intensely agitated, have difficulty walking and balancing, and be unable to respond to stimulation.  

Exposure among teenagers
Last year, five Seattle high school students overdosed on marijuana edibles while at school and required medical attention.  During this week's Prevention WINS coalition meeting, members representing schools and parents discussed the need for marijuana packaging and products that are readily identifiable as containing marijuana.  Right now, it is difficult to determine since some medical marijuana packaging and products mimic packaging and products that do not contain marijuana.

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