Sunday, May 19

Florida Poison Control reports record calls for THC edibles

Florida Poison Control Jacksonville (FPCJ) is reporting a record number of calls for THC edibles.

“We saw the rise even before medical marijuana [was legalized in Florida], and we’ve seen a rise in calls since then,” Mike McCormick with FPCJ, which oversees the Treasure Coast, said.

As of February 2024, there have been 64 emergency calls regarding edibles, that’s the most at this time of the year compared to any other year since 2018, according to a chart by the Florida Poison Information Data Center (FPIDC).

“How often do you deal with schools calling poison control?” asked WPTV reporter Joel Lopez.

“More often than we would like that’s for sure,” McCormick said. “It’s not just schools, we also see it in after-school programs anywhere where you can get a group of children together.”

Last year in 2023, FPIDC reported there were a total of 604 calls about edibles, which is 66 fewer calls than in 2022.

“What’s interesting is when the state started to crack down on Delta 8 in July and August we saw a temporary dip in the number of calls,” McCormick said. “But unfortunately by December, we saw those numbers rising again.”

This comes as the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said 10 students from Oak Hammock K-8 school are believed to have ingested THC gummies on Tuesday, sending five students to the hospital out of precaution.

“It could’ve been much worse, it could’ve been fentanyl it could have been OxyContin it could have been heroin,” concerned parent Daniel Elmore, who has a second-grade student at the school, said.

McCormick said edibles come in a range of potency and that the increase in calls to poison control is in part a result of the availability of the product.

“There’s not an antidote for THC, we can provide support of care in the hospitals, but largely they’re going to have to ride out through the effects of that,” McCormick said. “Any sort of THC product needs to be treated like it’s medicine, it needs to be locked up so children can’t get their hands on it.”

FPCJ works with other poison control centers in Florida, and they work as a network with FPCJ being the data collector for the state.

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