For the first time in New York City, a legal cannabis dispensary will offer community education to address the issue of poison prevention. Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store (USQTA), located at 62 East 13th Street between Broadway and University Place in Lower Manhattan, is partnering with the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Office of Child Safety and Injury Prevention to host a Poison Prevention Week Information and Resource Fair. The event will take place on Monday, March 20th at 4PM at USQTA’s store.
Why Does Poison Prevention Matter in New York Cannabis?
With the legalization of adult-use cannabis in the state, communities have become more fearful of a rise in children having easier access to products not intended for their use. The vast array of higher-THC cannabis products, whether gummies, brownies, beverages, or other ingestible categories, has created a marked increase in pediatric cannabis poisonings. Nationally, the number of cannabis exposures involving children 6 years or younger increased 1,375%--from 207 in 2017 to an alarming 3,054 in 2021. And the Upstate New York Poison Center’s data showed that the agency’s number of calls involving children and the ingestion of cannabis edibles nearly doubled, from 364 cases in 2021 to 700 in 2022.
How Will Union Square Travel Agency Address Poison Prevention in New York Cannabis?
Though the emphasis in the cannabis community remains on destigmatizing the plant, as it should, the proliferation of New York’s unlicensed stores has brought an influx of unregulated goods into circulation. Consumers buying from these retailers are purchasing items that most likely haven’t had any laboratory testing or adhere to any safety standards. Local residents are also concerned about how easily these products are falling into the hands of children. That’s where USQTA’s program will help educate the public on this crucial issue, with cannabis safety facts from experts and directives for actionable steps to danger-proof your home.
Attendees to the Poison Prevention Week Information and Resource Fair will learn about the risks and symptoms of poisoning in children and what to do if a child has been exposed. Participants will also receive guidance on how to safely store cannabis edibles and free lock boxes will be distributed.
What Is Union Square Travel Agency's Leadership Saying About the Poison Prevention Week Event?
USQTA president Arana Hankin-Biggers says, “Keeping NYC children from harm is paramount and we are pleased to partner with the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, the NYC Poison Center, and Cannabis NYC to support parents, caregivers and other trusted adults in keeping children safe from cannabis edibles by providing free lock boxes to keep cannabis and other toxins locked up and out of reach of children.”
The poison prevention program is also in line with USQTA’s partnership with The Doe Fund, a long-running nonprofit aimed at ending recidivism and homelessness in New York and abroad. A substantial portion of the proceeds from the dispensary go to benefit The Doe Fund’s operations and its constituents.
The Poison Prevention Week Information and Resource Fair takes place on Monday, March 20 at 4PM at Union Square Travel Agency, 62 East 13th Street. For more information, visit unionsquaretravelagency.com. To learn more about The Doe Fund, visit doe.org.
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Featured image: Scenes from the February 2023 grand opening of Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store in Lower Manhattan (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture