The Colorado legislature is considering sweeping changes to the system for cannabis for medical and adult use. If passed, the proposals would be the biggest change in Colorado cannabis policy since the 2012 law legalizing cannabis for adults, reports the Denver Post.
In line with a growing number of prevention voices across the country, a recent proposal in Colorado seeks to limit the THC content of cannabis concentrates as it relates to youth access. Other proposals include more clearly regulated purchase limits for both medicinal patients and adult users, as well as a tightened procedure for providing medicinal cannabis recommendations (requiring a face-to-face meeting to ensure that the doctor and patient have a good relationship of trust).
In the last two years, I’ve seen an increase in teenagers, to the point where I just saw a patient – a young woman, a cheerleader, a beautiful child – all normal, but she was taking these [very strong] medications every day and ended up in the hospital because she was throwing up all the time and losing 25 pounds. – Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D), the bill’s lead sponsor and sole physician, via the Post.
Caraveo’s Republican bill originally proposed a 15% THC cap for concentrates, but that number was lowered after the industry backed down. While the possibility of using a THC cap is still under discussion, no other limits on the potency of cannabis have yet been established, and it is unclear whether such a THC cap could be considered for cannabis flower products.
The proposals are hotly contested by users of cannabis for medical and adult use, with some supporters calling the legislation a light ban.
Wanda James, owner of Simply Pure Pharmacy in Denver, told the Post: I would like someone to explain to me why the wind changes: Oh, the children, the children. What we are talking about here is clearly a parental issue, not a business issue.
These legislators do it all the time, James said. He does nothing more than write their names in the paper and have them come in for 15 minutes.
The representative of Caraveo, while acknowledging that the industry has some advantages, also stated that the industry has changed. He was referring to the shift in cannabis sales from primarily flowering in 2014 to flowering, which now makes up less than half of the market, and concentrates, which will account for a third of cannabis sales in Colorado by 2019. Caraveo was also open about the support for her efforts, acknowledging that the bills are supported by anti-cannabis organizations such as Smart Marijuana and Smart Colorado, which have supported THC-limiting proposals in other states and have openly questioned the need for cannabis reform for years.