By Guy Page
The Vermont Cannabis Control Board should limit THC concentration in legal marijuana products to 15%, a Nov. 17 Vermont Medical Society resolution urges.
THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. “The risk of mental illness and addiction increases substantially with increasing THC concentrations such that Netherlands declared greater than 15% THC cannabis a hard drug,” the resolution says.
The VMS resolution is at odds with the Cannabis Control Board, a 14-member appointed board created by legislation to oversee the creation of a legal retail market for marijuana. In a Nov. 1 report to the Legislature, it recommended permitting concentrates of up to 60% THC. Banning 60% concentrates is potentially dangerous and “will subject licensed manufacturers to increased costs,” the CCB recommendation claims.When THC is extracted from the cannabis plant, the resulting solid or liquid concentrate will, by nature, be above 60%.” Dilution can be imprecise, possibly giving consumers incorrect information about concentration, it said.
Against these concerns expressed by marijuana product manufacturers, the VMS notes the significant mental and physical health dangers posed by high-concentrate marijuana.
In 2020 according to the Vermont Department of Health “marijuana use is a significant public health problem in Vermont, and it is getting worse.”
Cannabis use, especially of high potency greater than 15% THC, is associated with increased urgent and emergency department psychiatric visits and increased mental health disorders including psychosis. Non-psychiatric problems such as respiratory distress and hyperemesis (“scromiting”) “are now seen in most large emergency rooms every day, overburdening health care resources and staff,” the VMS said.
Both child and adult cannabis poisonings calls are increasing significantly, the VMS warned.
The VMS also wants the CCB to require this printed warning on all packaging and advertising: WARNING: Cannabis/THC may cause: 1. Psychosis* 2. Impaired driving 3. Addiction 4. Suicide attempt* 5. Uncontrollable vomiting 6. Harm to fetus/nursing baby.
The CCB will meet next at 11 AM this Friday, Dec. 3. On Nov. 24, it published:
Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.