Legislators on the House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee recently approved a resolution that would impose a THC cap on adult-use marijuana products. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of the two primary compounds found in marijuana, with the other being CBD (cannabidiol). However, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t induce a high when ingested.
The approved resolution, HB 1269, contains an amendment that increased the proposed limit on THC for cannabis flower from 10% to 30%. Representative Ralph Massullo, who introduced the resolution, stated that his proposed cap on THC was based on the fact that not much was known on the potential long-term harms and benefits of cannabis products with high THC content. He added that the panel’s task was keeping the public safe and it was important to keep this in mind
This decision comes as highly potent THC products become more available because more states are legalizing cannabis. Concerns have, in the past, been raised about links between mental-health issues and products with high THC content, particularly in developing brains. The approved initiative would establish a 10 mg THC serving size for edibles and place a 60% THC limit on all other cannabis products.
During the final vote, four members voted against the initiative. Among them was Representative Robin Bartleman, who argued that preparing a package that included a suite of recreational marijuana regulations was better suited. Similar concerns were expressed by Representative Kelly Skidmore, who stated that the THC limit was something legislators would have had to address if voters approved adult-use cannabis. She further noted that the decision to do so now was premature because there was a lot more that needed to be discussed.
Some panel members also noted that while they did have reservations about the initiative, they still supported it. This includes Representative Adam Anderson, who stated that low THC limits could result in people consuming more cannabis, which would have additives or materials that were possibly harmful. Anderson noted that he supported the measure because he felt it was the responsibility of legislators to be proactive. The legislator also applauded Massullo’s efforts as well as his productivity on the matter.
Representative Gallop Franklin II, who also voted yes on the measure, noted that individuals often sought products from the illegal marketplace, which wasn’t regulated. He added that hazardous additives in unregulated products could cause more harm than THC itself.
The initiative will take effect 30 days after voters approve any constitutional amendment to enact legalization. The entire cannabis sector, including major players such as Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (TSX: CURA) (OTCQX: CURLF) is likely to be concerned by this way of legislatures preemptively imposing restrictions on a matter that voters are likely to approve.
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