Six tips for safely storing cannabis
Keep non-medical cannabis away from minors and pets by safely storing it in a secure location. Health Canada recommends storing cannabis products (dried flower, pre-rolls, oils, capsules) safely sealed, out of sight and reach. It is illegal for individuals under the age of 19 to possess non-medical cannabis in BC and it is illegal to share legally purchased non-medical cannabis with minors.
Here are six ideas to reduce the risk of harm to the youngest and most vulnerable members of your family:
1) Invest in secure storage
Using a locked safe or a strong box may reduce the risk of minors and pets accessing cannabis products.
2) Out of reach, out of sight
Ensure that all products and accessories are kept out of reach, possibly on a high shelf in a dark closet, and locked in a dedicated storage box. Keeping cannabis out of common areas such as kitchens and living rooms may also be a good safety strategy. Minors can be naturally curious and may love exploring; therefore it’s not ideal to keep cannabis, for example, in an unlocked drawer or cupboard within easy reach.
3) Child-resistant caps and containers
Cannabis comes in child resistant packages directly from approved licensed producers, safely through government warehouses to BC Cannabis Stores and private non-medical cannabis retailers. Consider keeping the products in their original containers, which feature cautionary labels and icons as additional warnings.
4) Unpack cannabis purchases first
After a busy day of shopping, which may include stops at multiple retailers, unpack and safely store cannabis products first. This will reduce the risk that helpful hands may accidently come in contact with these items.
5) Never leave cannabis unattended
Don’t leave cannabis products unattended, even for a few moments, as minors or pets may swallow them in an instant.
6) Odour-free storage is key
While babies and toddlers may not know what cannabis smells like, teenagers may, which means that reducing or eliminating the potential smell of fresh or dried cannabis can be an important safety strategy. Storing cannabis in a purpose-made smell-proof container or, a perhaps more affordable, vacuum-sealed or zip-locked packages may be effective solutions.
Having open conversations about cannabis with minors can also support development of safe and responsible attitudes towards cannabis use. If you feel comfortable, a balanced discussion might include sharing facts about cannabis use, including the potential risks of use, the psychoactive effects of cannabis, the fact that it’s illegal for people under 19 to use non-medical cannabis, and what the current laws and regulations are around responsible use.
If you suspect a minor or pet has accidentally ingested cannabis, please contact the BC Drug and Poison Information Centre for information at 604-682-5050 or 1-800-567-8911.