As Colorado lawmakers continue to debate on limiting the potency of marijuana products, analysts fear that a THC cap would effectively stymie an otherwise successful industry.
State legislators have already rejected an initial proposal in April to cap the potency of recreational marijuana products at roughly 16 percent THC, the Denver Post reports.
But the debate may rage on, even possibly until next year. Although the proposed limit was denied, there will be many opportunities during the current legislative session to add in the amendment. “We’ll be revisiting this next year, for sure,” said Democratic Rep. KC Becker at the April hearing.
But at the cost of ensuring public safety, marijuana industry experts BDS Analytics believes that enacting a THC limit would only bring catastrophic results to Colorado’s booming cannabis market.
“When we first encountered the proposed language we quickly understood it would have a dramatic effect on the market, and so we immediately began a meticulous analysis of how it might change the landscape for commercial cannabis,” said Roy Bingham, BDS Analytics CEO, in a statement to Cannabis Now. “Unfortunately, our instincts were correct. Should the initiative become a part of the Colorado Constitution, it would hobble Colorado’s fastest-growing industry.”
The average potency of Colorado’s marijuana products is already much higher than the proposed limit, as a state study found cannabis flowers contain 17.1 percent on average, while extracts contained 62.1 percent.
BDS found that just three percent of cannabis sold in the current market would satisfy the proposed limit, while less than five percent of all edibles products are currently packaged in accordance with the proposal.
The cap would be most devastating to concentrates and extracts, which make up the fastest growing category of pot products found in Colorado dispensaries, as absolutely no products currently sold would be found in compliance with the proposed law.
Marijuana industry compliance professional Mark Slaugh also agrees with the BDS findings.
“I don’t think a lot of thought was put into the proposals,” said Slaugh, iComply CEO and executive director of the Cannabis Business Alliance, to the Cannabist. “This bill threatens to wipe out most infused product manufacturers, and its language is unclear as to what to do with edibles.”
Despite the opposition to the proposed THC cap, the House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to review the bill next, while a proposed ballot initiative that would also limit the potency of cannabis still seeks approval for the November ballot.