There is no doubt about it, lawmakers are always trying to find new ways to spoil the fun we’re all supposed to be having out here in the big, bad world. And Washington state is certainly no exception.
Some of the suits in Olympia are now so convinced that high-powered marijuana is contributing to a wicked increase in psychotic behavior that they are now pushing to outlaw most of the cannabis concentrates presently sold in dispensaries statewide. It’s an attempt to establish a prohibition 2.0 in a place where weed has been legal for the past six years. Lawmakers just can’t let go of the leash, which some believe will cause a savage uprising in illegal shenanigans that could, in turn, bring about much darker days than the ones they are trying to get away from.
A slew of lawmakers recently banded together to introduce legislation in the House intended to cripple Washington’s concentrates sector. The bill (House Bill 2546) is designed to put the kibosh on all sorts of concentrate products from vape cartridges to dabs, replacing them with a variety of offerings that can only be described as THC-light. Indeed, lawmakers are hell-bent on preventing anyone from stepping inside a dispensary and purchasing extracts packed with more than 10% THC.
This, they believe, will prevent more people from experiencing psychosis as a result of tainted cannabis products. Yet, some think it will run the industry into the ground, since concentrates make up a substantial share of the market. It could provide a nice opening for criminal organizations to swoop in and wreak further havoc on the health of a pot-loving population.
“If 40% of the market is toward these products and then you ban them, you’d definitely be creating a push towards the black market,” Leo Beletsky, a professor of law and public health at Northwestern University, told Leafly.
As with any situation where the industry gets pitted against the state, cannabis sellers have some concerns about the nature of the bill. For starters, very few are convinced that putting a 10% THC cap on concentrates is supported by even the simplest science. It’s kind of like that number has been thrown around in legal states for so many years when it comes to what is considered a responsible dose that they just sort of said, “Yeah, that sounds good. Let’s run with that.”
Some are also worried that the process of manufacturing cannabis concentrates under the stipulations of this legislation will force producers to work with low-quality cannabis, cut all kinds of corners, and start mixing in an influx of additives. And while this cap may certainly prevent the average cannabis newbie from catching the canna-panic after an accidental, overly-ambitious bout with high-THC products, it would not benefit those who have come to rely on the strength of them for medical conditions. In fact, some say concentrates with 10% THC can’t give the user a buzz.
There is also the distinct possibility, too, that while the bill is intended to tighten public safety, it may do the exact opposite. Not only will die hard concentrate users most certainly gravitate toward the underground for more powerful products, but it is also likely the state could see a resurgence in explosions and fires caused by inexperienced mad scientists engaging in home BTO production. It’s a situation that just a few years ago was keeping fire departments humping like mad.
“Why have a recreational legal cannabis market in Washington state if one of the outcomes would be to encourage home lab production of concentrate?” Beletsky said.
So will the bill pass?
Well, no one yet has a clue how such a proposal is going to be received once it finally gets its day on the floor. Right now, the cannabis industry is just fighting to express the many hassles that it will incur if this push does, in fact, go the distance. Many fear that a large chunk of their inventory will all of a sudden be forced into the garbage, which could cost them beaucoup bucks in lost profits. Some are perhaps hoping for a compromise if lawmakers do latch onto this thing and make a run for it. But at this juncture, it is just too early to tell how it will all shake out.
TELL US, would you buy a concentrate that was 10% THC?