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 Abstract

Objective: To investigate changes in emergency nursing workload related to cannabis ingestion or inhalation by adult and pediatric patients in states and bordering states where recreational cannabis is legal.

Results: The legalization of recreational cannabis in some US states is reported as resulting in an increase in patients presenting with cyclic vomiting syndromes, and increased difficulty in managing both associated behaviors and repetitive ED presentations. New presentations also include unintentional intoxication in both pediatric and geriatric populations. An unexpected finding was the displacement of local homeless populations by younger, indigent “cannabis tourists”; social services agencies might consider this while planning for cannabis legalization in their state or territory.

Conclusions:To protect public health and safety, regulatory efforts to standardize the formulation, dosing and labeling of cannabis products would be beneficial along with educational initiatives for both consumers and health care providers.

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