Cannabis industry rebuts study linking cannabis legalization to pediatric intoxication

September 14, 2021 - Ottawa, ON - The Cannabis Council of Canada (“C3”) is announcing the publication of its letter to the Editor of Clinical Toxicology, an international journal publishing research on the various aspects of clinical toxicology including the diagnosis and treatment of poisoning.

The letter, co-authored by Dr. Stephanie Lunn, Director of Medical Affairs at Aurora Cannabis and Mr. George Smitherman, C3’s President and CEO, is a comment on “Pediatric cannabis intoxication trends in the pre and post-legalization era”, a research paper which concluded that recreational cannabis legalization is associated with higher rates of intoxication in children.

In their rebuttal, the authors noted that the paper in question contained significant flaws leading to inaccurate conclusions. Among these flaws was an incorrect time frame for the post legalization period, the failure of the researchers to distinguish between legal cannabis products and illicit market products, and the failure to consider how the co-ingestion of multiple substances affected their study outcomes (45% of the pediatric patients had co- ingested other substances). “At Aurora Cannabis, we believe that good science is central to our ability to support the public policy objectives of cannabis legalization and we appreciate the opportunity to have our voice heard when it comes to science about legal cannabis,” noted Dr. Lunn.

Canada’s licensed cannabis industry - producers, distributors, and retailers - take great care in ensuring that its products and promotional materials do not appeal to youth and that youth are unable to access to legal non-therapeutic cannabis. “The health and wellbeing of Canadian youth is of the utmost importance to Canada’s licensed and regulated cannabis industry,” commented Mr. Smitherman. “We hope this effort and others like it will help educate Canadians about the serious health risks to youth, and to all Canadians, from unregulated illicit cannabis products,” concluded Mr. Smitherman.

The Comment on “Pediatric cannabis intoxication trends in the pre and post-legalization era”, Clinical Toxicology, DOI: 10.1080/15563650.2021.1975735 is available online at: .2021.1975735

About the Cannabis Council of Canada

The Cannabis Council of Canada is the national organization of cannabis cultivation and processing licensees on record with Health Canada advocating on behalf of the legal cannabis industry. C3’s mission is to act as a national voice for our members in the promotion of industry standards; support the development, growth and integrity of the regulated cannabis industry; and to serve as an important resource on issues related to the safe and responsible use of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes.

General and media inquiries can be directed to:

George Smitherman, President and CEO,



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