Parachute gets parents to keep cannabis edibles ‘high and locked’

The non-profit shifts its target in response to an uptick in calls to poison control centres.

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Parachute, the national charity dedicated to injury prevention, has launched a campaign about the precautions parents need to take when it comes to storing their cannabis edibles – keeping them “high and locked,” away from their children.

According to Parachute, following legalization in 2018, the use of cannabis products in Canada has continued to increase, with poison control centres experiencing an uptick in calls concerning cannabis-related poisonings. What is of specific concern, the charity notes, is edibles are “manufactured to taste and look good,” but can have dangerous prolonged effects on a child.

According to a Mar. 16 Ipsos poll of 1,000 Canadian parents of children under the age of 15, 94% of those who use cannabis also agreed that it is their responsibility to safely store it. However, the poll found only one in four parents who consume edibles do so properly.

Pamela Fuselli, president and CEO of Parachute, tells strategy the goal of this campaign is to get parents to treat edibles like any other danger to children. Parachute tends to target youth directly, such as its “Know What Impaired Means” campaign during National Teen Driver Safety Week, but as children may be unaware they are even consuming cannabis, Fuselli says this prompted talking directly to parents. “We look at what is causing the most harm,” she says, “and poisoning is quite high.”

The campaign – which was created by agency Mass Minority – uses “a very simple, straightforward message, that we could share in a little bit of an eye-catching way,” Fuselli says. The creative features a giant gummy bear (an easily recognizable representation of an edible) locked up high on various Canadian landmarks, such as the Peace Tower in Ottawa and Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

“We want to make people pay attention,” Fuselli says, adding that the campaign seems to be resonating. Since phase one launched during National Poison Prevention Week on Mar. 16, the organization has had more than 90,000 unique page views, going to the “High and Locked” page it developed for the campaign.

Aside from Parachute’s social channels and website, the campaign will appear on donated OOH media space in malls across Canada and Yonge Dundas Square as part of its second phase. There is also a partnership with Today’s Parent that includes an informational piece about the safe storage of cannabis edibles, as well as standard digital ad units running on the site.