This month marks nine years since Steamboat Springs’ first retail marijuana store debuted, selling adults 21 and older legal recreational Marijuana. According to experts, the workplace may now be affected by a higher use rate, increasing potency, and perceived normality of use. According to Ben Cort, CEO of the Foundry Treatment Center in Steamboat and a treatment and prevention consultant, marijuana use among employees is a common and risky problem across the country.
He continued by saying that having employees report to work high on marijuana might result in mishaps, injuries, and subpar work output. According to Cort, the fact that marijuana offered in retail stores today is significantly stronger than it was 20 to 30 years ago is a major factor in workers being high. THC, the component in marijuana that causes its psychological effects, was typically present at 5% or less in 1996.
According to him, Colorado now considers 30% THC to be the standard, and some potent concentrates have THC levels as high as 98%. “Getting a sober workforce is the biggest issue. According to Cort, author of the 2017 book “Weed, Inc.: The Truth About the Pot Lobby, THC, and the Commercial Marijuana Industry,” we are experiencing the greatest record consumption rate the nation has ever seen.
According to surveys conducted in late 2022, more individuals now actively use marijuana than tobacco, with consumption among people in the 24 to 32 age group being at its greatest. It permeates the workplace, classrooms, and family life. Higher use rates are always accompanied by higher rates of issues, according to Cort.
According to Ben Cort, the perceived danger of cannabis use is at an all-time low. He added that the higher the perceived risk of a substance, the more rarely it is used. We’ve never documented a lower perceived danger for cannabis use, and usage rates only keep rising, according to Cort. Higher cannabis concentrations result in a higher incidence of addiction and hospitalization.
He claimed that whereas marijuana addiction was once just 10% or less common among users, it is today as high as 30%. “We don’t use marijuana. We are taking THC at levels that are not natural in very concentrated forms,” Cort added. “It has a huge industry behind it and does pretty intense things to the human brain and body.”
According to Dr. Laura Sehnert, chief medical officer and emergency physician at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, growing use, potency, and unintentional consumption continue to bring patients to the emergency room. Unintentional adverse effects, such as paranoia, anxiety, visual or auditory hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, arrhythmia, and an accelerated heart rate, are seen more frequently than you might think, according to Sehnert.
According to the doctor, unintended exposure to cannabis products that can occur at any age, especially in small children and old seniors, when they are mistaken for food is the leading cause of marijuana emergency visits. Sehnert emphasizes that consumers should keep and protect cannabis edibles like any prescription in the home, despite the fact that makers of cannabis sweets have increased packaging clarity from earlier years.
Keep it out of children’s reach. It should be kept in its original packaging. Keep it separate from other foods and lock it away in a cabinet, according to Sehnert. Chronic marijuana users who have cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or severe episodes of vomiting, as well as “marijuana nave” patients who experience unexpected reactions because of greater dosages are other common causes of emergency room visits.
According to Sehnert, the digestive tract’s receptors that likewise react to marijuana are what trigger cyclical vomiting. According to Sehnert, vomiting episodes can persist with continued marijuana use. “My recommendation, like with any substance, is if you are a chronic daily user and find yourself displaying signs of addiction and using more frequently, evaluate whether or not you should withdraw,” he added.
Cort, who is currently writing the second book “Weed, Inc.,” speaks to thousands of people a year about marijuana use issues. Last week, he gave a presentation to the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office regarding state patterns and current marijuana potency levels. Intoxication in any form at work is totally unacceptable, Cort informed the companies.