Marijuana Industry To Come Clean About Reliance on Highly Potent Products In Massachusetts
Tomorrow the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts will hear a case to dismiss the petition to legalize commercial marijuana. Hensley vs. Attorney General was filed about five weeks ago. The suit alleges voters have not been told that high concentrations of THC could be added to food or beverages, such as candy, cookies or soda, under this proposal. Nor were voters told that the question would allow for the sale of genetically modified forms of marijuana with THC concentrations of 60 percent or higher. The Bellotti Law Group filed the suit on behalf of 59 voters.l
The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts is not a party to the suit, but the campaign believes that legal challenge raises important issues, especially the high THC levels of today’s marijuana products. The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts reiterated its call on the marijuana industry to discuss the fact that it will rely on highly potent products in Massachusetts.
One Marijuana Industry representative in Colorado admitted that efforts to cap THC levels at a rate above what the Dutch government has moved to classify as a prohibited hard drug would “gut the industry” in that state.
Statement from Nick Bayer, campaign manager for a Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts:
“As this case is heard before the SJC, we believe the Marijuana Industry should acknowledge what we all know, that it will need to rely on highly potent products in Massachusetts to make a profit. This ballot question would open the door to the selling of a drug that is 400% more potent than the marijuana of even a generation ago, and edible products that have no restrictions placed on THC levels. People deserve to know what they are voting on, and this more powerful drug will have a great impact on families and young people.”
Some additional facts include:
Today’s commercial marijuana industry is producing and pushing products with average THC (the psychoactive element which creates the high) levels multiple times higher than found in the 1970s—frequently at or above the 15% THC level that the Dutch government has moved to classify as a prohibited “hard drug.”
Edible products, which the ballot measure specifically authorizes, make up about half the marijuana market in Colorado and would likely do the same here. Edibles use extracts with THC content that can rise as high as 90%.
In a recent interview, the head of Colorado’s marijuana trade association told a news outlet that an effort in his state to cap THC levels at 16% “literally would gut” his industry. Marijuana Business Daily quoted Mike Elliot, executive director of The Marijuana Industry Group, as saying the proposed THC cap would “would probably ban all the concentrates and most of the edibles and most of the flowers that people grow, too. Most of the flower that our industry is growing is above 16% THC.”
A bi-partisan group of politicians is leading the charge against legalization in Massachusetts, including Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo. An impressive group of school superintendents and other civic organizations have already spoken out against legalization. It’s time that similar leadership form in California.