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Reader: Limiting Weed Potency Boosts the Black Market

In the world of commercial cannabis, the more potent, the better.EXPAND
In the world of commercial cannabis, the more potent, the better.
Jacqueline Collins

In late February, we reported about a potential legislative effort to impose a THC limit on commercial marijuana products in Colorado. Although lawmakers and pot industry representatives don't believe that such a bill will be submitted this year, anti-marijuana organizations view a potency cap as an attainable regulatory target.

Even so, marijuana activists and industry members were alarmed when rumors began swirling that a proposal to cap THC content in commercial marijuana products could be introduced at the Colorado General Assembly. And lawmakers acknowledged that the topic had been broached by anti-marijuana organizations during both public and closed-door meetings.

Often compared to alcohol (especially in Amendment 64, whose passage legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado), cannabis isn't receiving equal treatment...especially when it comes to potency. Notes Ramaeu:

 But you can walk into any liquor store and buy enough Everclear to kill a small army.

Adds Paul: 

Good thing they just upped the limit on the alcohol content of beer sold in gas stations and grocery stores. 

The notion of a potency cap was so ridiculous that one reader thinks our story qualifies as satire. Says Andrew: 

Hahah when did you guys turn into The Onion? This has got to be a joke. Limiting potency is stupid. You'd rather them grow ass-water than anything helpful huh?

Replies Bridget:

I wish this was the The Onion, but there has been some back-handed thing we've had to kill about it every year. It is the most ridiculous thing ever.

Concludes Benny:

Just creates an unnecessary black market. Government officials are all idiots.

Since the election of Governor Jared Polis and several other marijuana-friendly lawmakers in 2018, a litany of new bills expanding the state's pot industry have successfully passed through the legislature. However, industry lobbyists believe that SMART Colorado, an organization committed to keeping pot out of the hands of children, may be trying to push forward a potency limit here. Representatives from SMART have continually lobbied for THC limits during regulatory stakeholder meetings and other gatherings, and even put up a billboard in the Denver metro area last year warning parents about the potency of commercial marijuana, labeling it a "hard drug."

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SMART Colorado declined to comment on the possibility of new potency legislation in Colorado, instead pointing Westword to a letter that SMART chairman Doug Robinson sent the Denver Post in January, supporting Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo's proposal that a federal limit of 2 percent THC on legal marijuana be added to the SAFE Banking Act, and a January op-ed published in the Washington Examiner in which SMART co-founder Diane Carlson does the same.

What do you think about the possibility of a potency limit proposal? Post a comment or email your thoughts to marijuana@westword.com.

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