For the second year in a row, a bill has emerged in Washington state aimed at limiting the potency of cannabis concentrate products. The bill, HB 1463, has bi-partisan sponsors and is scheduled for a hearing on February 12 in the Washington House. The legislation cites health concerns around “high potency” cannabis and includes a recent consensus statement from a group of Washington State University and University of Washington cannabis researchers.
“Use of cannabis with high THC concentration increases the chances of developing cannabis use disorder or addiction to cannabis, particularly among adolescents. High-potency cannabis use can have lifelong mental health consequences, which often manifest in adolescence or early adulthood. Daily cannabis use, particularly of high-potency products, increases the risk of developing a psychotic disorder, like schizophrenia, and is related to an earlier onset of symptoms compared to people who do not use cannabis.” — Consensus statement excerpt
If passed, the bill would limit cannabis concentrates to 30 percent THC and raise the age of purchase to 25. An exemption would be made for registered medical cannabis patients.
Bo Jackson, a Washington cannabis consumer who lobbied last year against a similar bill, said he is organizing to push back on this year’s attempt.
“This will incentivize black market sales, as cannabis concentrates of more than 30% are popular and sought by consumers,” he told Ganjapreneur. “The age restriction, 25 for concentrates, is inconsistent with current regulations we see on tobacco and alcohol and seems to be targeting cannabis consumers. While every industry is subject to regulation, those regulations need to benefit the entire community. This bill creates an arbitrary restriction that hurts consumers, industry, and medical users.”
Lukas is a freelance writer and medical cannabis activist who lives in Tacoma. When he’s not writing about cannabis or working to bring a better medical cannabis system to Washington, he likes to DJ, play adaptive sports and volunteer in his Tacoma community. He supports national legalization and the opening up of the medical cannabis market in all 50 states.