It’s a growing problem in New Jersey – edible marijuana brownies, cakes, gummies and other candies being gobbled down by children.

The New Jersey Poison Control Center is reporting an increase in the number of children experiencing adverse health effects after ingesting a large quantity of cannabis candy.

Last year, the Poison Control Center assisted in the medical treatment of more than 85 children who ate products containing THC, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects, more than double the number treated in 2019 and 6 times as much as 2018.

Dr. Diane Calello, executive and medical director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, said if you eat or smoke a little more marijuana than you had planned you might get sleepy or a bit higher than intended.

“But if you get a lot more than for your body weight, you can become very agitated, you can hallucinate. Sometimes children have seizures, sometimes they stop breathing and end up on a ventilator at the ICU," she said.

Children gravitate to these yummy-looking snacks because many look exactly like brand-name candies sold in stores, complete with colorful packaging.

Calello said this is becoming an increasing concern because medicinal marijuana is already legal and recreational pot for adults will soon be in the Garden State.

Her advice to parent is they should be “keeping it out of reach of kids and out of sight of kids, particularly if it’s enticing and it looks like candy — that’s just an accident waiting to happen.”

If you suspect a poisoning involving a marijuana product, you can call the Poison control Center immediately at 1-800-222-1222 for medical treatment advice.

She noted Poison Control Centers are staffed by healthcare professionals 24/7, but if someone is unconscious, not breathing, hard to wake up or having a seizure, immediately call 911.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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