Although Colorado doesn’t have any laws in place to govern the alcohol content of the hard liquor sold across the state, a couple of prohibitionist goons have decided to launch a ballot initiative aimed at restricting the amount of THC allowed in all cannabis products.
Earlier last week, a proposed ballot measure was submitted to the state, seeking to castrate the potency of “marijuana and marijuana products” in Colorado by imposing a 16 percent cap on THC. Taking the charge a step further, the initiative would also beg voters to approve a warning label system for pot packaging in order to “identify health risks,” which the two people responsible for this movement – Ali Pruitt and Ron Castanga – suggest include risks ranging from “birth defects and reduced brain development” to long-term addiction.
Castanga, a former high school principal in Lakewood, is no stranger to stirring up trouble for the Colorado cannabis trade. Last year, he told NBC News that pot had infiltrated schools all over the state, but teachers were having a hard time cracking down on stoner students because edible products are “so easy to camouflage.”
The initiative, which would also identify a single serving size as 10 milligrams of THC, would only apply to recreational sales – medical marijuana would remain unaffected.
The group needs to collect 98,492 verified signatures before the initiative can be put in front of voters in the November election. Unfortunately, even if Castanga and Pruitt fail with their proposal, there is a chance that lawmakers will pass a similar measure in the State Legislature.
According to a report in The Denver Post, there is a proposed amendment (House Bill 1261) being discussed by the Colorado General Assembly that would prohibit recreational pot shops from selling “retail marijuana or retail marijuana products” with a THC content of more than 15 percent. If approved, any dispensary caught in violation of the cap would be subject to a penalty of somewhere between a license suspension to a fine of up to $100,000. In addition, the measure includes a provision that would force all marijuana products to contain a label that reads: “Warning: The health impacts of marijuana with a THC potency of above 10 percent are unknown.”
“All the studies that have been done on THC levels have been done on THC levels between 2 and 8 percent,” said Representative Kathleen Conti, the bill’s primary sponsor. “Most of the marijuana coming in now, the flowers are being rated at a THC count of about 17 percent on average, so this is dramatically over, and we really don’t know that we’ve gotten the true feel on the health risks associated with that marijuana.”
The House Finance Committee heard testimony over the bill earlier last week, but they have not yet taken a vote to determine whether the issue will move to the House floor.
In the meantime, opposing forces argue that THC-capping is “unconstitutional,” and that all it would do is drive more customers into the black market.
“I don’t think a lot of thought was put into the proposals,” said iComply CEO Slaugh, who also oversees the Cannabis Business Alliance. “This bill threatens to wipe out most infused product manufacturers, and its language is unclear as to what to do with edibles.”
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