As California prepares the infrastructure for the recreational marijuana industry, some changes seem to be on the way. Residents elected to legalize marijuana last November, making it 1 of 8 states to have ended prohibition. California was the first place in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana 20 years earlier in 1996 and now the state is taking things to the next level. The state’s marijuana regulators released a 211 page to outline how the plant will be grown, tested, processed and distributed with rules going into effect in 2018. The public has until June 13th of this year to have their say about the regulations, which is a good thing given that one aspect of the regulations has caused some controversy.
Limiting the Potency of Edibles
California has never had a limit placed on the amount of THC allowed in edibles. Now, after 20 years, regulators have decided to set a cap. 10 mg is the amount capped for an individual serve and 100 mg is the total amount per marijuana edible package. Oakland based company Korova Edibles has, up until now, freely been able to sell 1,000 mg brownies for patients with high tolerances who may be in deep pain. The issue now becomes that someone who wants the same dose they are used to getting would need to eat and spend 10 time the amount to get the same effects.
“A Punishment to Our Most Seriously Ill Patients”
Debby Goldsberry, director of Magnolia Wellness, a dispensary and community center in Oakland, said, “It reads as if there weren’t industry experts advising the final draft because the regulations don’t make sense as a whole.” She added to this, “It is kind of offensive and a punishment to our most seriously ill patients who have very high tolerances and need a high dose. I think regulators didn’t spend enough time looking at the needs of the most critically ill members because this regulation is going to harm them. We need regulations that are going to support them. We need to flip this regulation completely.
Many businesses who get their sales from high potency products will no doubt suffer if these regulations pass. Some, such as Korova, make the bulk of their sales from their high potency products and repackaging and restructuring is likely to be expensive.
Hazards of Edible Overdose
The Department of Health however believe that, in order to protect those who may unintentionally consume too much THC, it is safer to set limits. While it isn’t possible to overdose on marijuana, consuming too much THC often results in people being rushed to the emergency room, suffering from panic attacks and hallucinations. For this reason, precautions are also being taken to ensure that children won’t be attracted to consuming edibles. Clearly marked products that are unattractive to children is one of the approaches being taken to ensuring public safety. No restrictions would be placed on any edibles that are home baked.
The regulations will be discussed at a public hearing in Santa Rosa and San Diego where people will have the opportunity to have their voices heard in the matter.