It wasn’t long ago that a group came forward with a ballot measure in Colorado that, if passed, would severely impact the cannabis industry as we currently know it. Colorado has become known for having some of the best bud now that growers can operate legally and the plants are tested prior to being put on retail shelves – the average buds bought in the state are between 17.1% for cannabis flower and 62.1% when we start talking about extracts, but the proposed amendment would put a cap on all THC products of 16%.
Currently the Healthy Colorado Coalition has until August 8th to gather a total of 98,492 valid signatures in order to find themselves with a place on the November ballot. As they have only recently been approved to gather signatures they will have to hustle to get all the needed signatures – and a surplus in the event a number of signatures are not valid. We can hope that this amendment will not receive enough signatures – and a new group has come to help keep their amendment out of the constitution.
The Colorado Health Research Council (CHRC) has been created as a means for the industry to fight this kind of nonsense. CHRC is comprised of “cannabis patients, caregivers, scientists, industry leaders, the business community and ordinary citizens” according to the group’s website. Together they oppose not only Amendment 139, but also “any other ballot issues that intend to limit access to marijuana or marijuana products”.
So far, they already have $300,000 in donations that are available to help them keep Amendment 139 off of the ballots this year – and if it does manage to make the ballots, they will fight back even harder. They absolutely have the resources to do so – and they have the logic behind them as well. The Healthy Colorado Coalition wants to limit THC, which would effectively give an advantage to growing and selling on the black market once again – making their “keeping the children safe” argument invalid.
The HCC would have us believing that putting a cap on THC content in the industry would be an attempt to keep our children and teens safer – but they are only looking at this from one viewpoint. The amendment would also go as far as to force warning labels that claim marijuana causes negative health consequences including “permanent loss of brain abilities” – even though a study published recently says long-term health effects are no worse than not flossing your teeth.
In the end, this is a group who have probably been fighting cannabis legalization from the beginning. They want to put a cap on the industry and say the only reason the industry is worried is a loss of revenue – but what about the customers and medical patients who want and/or need high THC marijuana? Those people will go back to buying it illegally if they cannot buy it in a dispensary, you can pretty much guarantee that.
Hopefully the Colorado Health Research Council can keep their message strong – regulation is the answer, but over-regulating will only give way to the now struggling black market. Putting a legal cap on marijuana won’t make a difference in the end – Amendment 139 will not “protect” anyone – it could even cause teens to have easier access to potent products that are now being heavily restricted as it is. Hopefully the voters are just as fond of potent marijuana as they were when they chose to legalize recreational use in 2012.