British Columbia

Banning edible pot endangers patients and youth, says supplier

An edible marijuana supplier warns Vancouver's recent decision to ban products such as pot brownies and candies will only put patients and youth at risk.

Brina Levitt says banning edible pot will just make the products flourish in the black market

The City of Vancouver bans sale of edible marijuana products, with the exception of edible oils, which would include tinctures and capsules. (Dank Depot/Flickr)

An edible medical marijuana supplier warns Vancouver's recent decision to ban products such as pot brownies and candies will only put patients and youth at risk.

Last week, the City of Vancouver voted to impose regulations on the city's illegal medical marijuana dispensaries. The new rules include strict restrictions on locations, a $30,000-licensing fee, and a ban on edible pot products.

Both the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health's chief medical officer Dr. Patricia Daly have cited risks to children as the reason behind the ban on edible pot.

Brina Levitt with Green Penguin Delights says she understands the concern over children's safety.

But by banning edibles at dispensaries rather than regulating them, patients who rely on the products will be barred from safe access, she argued.

She also believes youth, who previously were not allowed to purchase pot baked goods or candies from a dispensary because of age restrictions, will now be able to easily access them through the black market.

"[Daly's] concerns are that minors, youth don't have access to this," Levitt told On The Coast.

"Prior to the ban, edibles were allowed in dispensaries, they were off the streets. I was pushing for regulation, food-safe certifications for handlers. 

"And by banning edibles, she has pushed this back on the street where it's not food-safe, untested, unregulated and unrestricted for the access."   

Though Vancouver council has said oils would be permitted, Levitt adds that the lack of regulations and testing could make it unsafe for consumption.

Proper labeling is needed

Levitt, who uses medical cannabis herself after a bike accident left her with soft tissue damage, says she and her partner began selling medicated bath bombs, pot-infused oils and baked goods last December.

Levitt argues the city should have allowed edible pot products as long as they are tested and have proper labeling.

She says her company Green Penguin Delights self-regulates — products have labels that include information such as warnings, storage instructions, manufacturer, recommended dosage chart and instructions in case the buyer is in an overmedicated state. They are also tested for potency.

Vancouver Coastal Health's chief medical officer Dr. Patricia Daly has defended the ban on edible products, saying recent evidence from the United States indicates edible pot was responsible for at least 2,000 reports of poisoning of young children.

Such incidents happened even in states where childproof containers and proper labeling were required, Daly said.

Listen to the full interview: The case for edible pot

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