Did New Hampshire vote to legalize cannabis without regulations or restrictions? The New Hampshire House of Representatives has approved two bills to legalize cannabis. About a month ago, the House passed your typical legalization bill, including taxes and regulations. While that’s tied up in the Senate, the House has introduced a “simple” legalization bill. House Bill 639 is a “simple” legalization bill that would remove cannabis from the state’s list of controlled substances. It also removes cannabis-related offences from the […]
Okay, so we’re way better about segregation where it matters (though lets be honest, not good enough). Luckily, what I’m writing about has a much smaller and less important social connotation; while still bringing up questions about the wonky regulations that exist in different markets. When it comes to that which makes us feel warm and fuzzy, as it turns out, our two favorite go to solutions – THC and alcohol – are not allowed in the same product. Read on to find out more.
What we do to feel good
I’ve written plenty about the dangers of alcohol, but realistically, it’s a huge part of culture, and one which provides a certain amount of positive benefit when used correctly. Maybe not for health, but who hasn’t been on a date that went better because of that dry bottle of wine? Sometimes we need a little extra something in life, and often, that extra something comes with a proof attached.
Of course, some people choose not to drink alcohol. Whether it’s the raging hangovers the next day, the hole burned in the pocket, or the crazy antics that must be explained, some people live their lives without ever needing a bottle opener (unless its for something sugary and fizzy). It might not be the majority by any means, but some people don’t even like the feeling of the alcohol in their system. And that’s fine.
For many people, there’s an alternative to drinking, in smoking weed. Some prefer a nice fat blunt to a glass of whiskey; or some nice, pure vape hits over a thick, cold beer. There might not be an official rule here, but a lot of the time you find a non-drinker, that non-drinker is an active pot-head, or vice versa. And some people like both, but prefer to do them separately; taking advantage of each in the correct setting.
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Some of us like to use them together though. Admittedly, when you’ve drank too much, adding in a little weed is a great way to make the room uncomfortably spin, and some people will never mix the two because of this. For the rest of us that enjoy both, however, it’s often nice to have a joint in one hand, and a beer in the other. In fact, for some, it’s a wining combination. Only, for weird legal reasons never explained clearly, it’s a winning combination that doesn’t exist in any product.
What? No THC and alcohol together? Blasphemy!
First thing to remember is that according to the US federal government, weed isn’t legal anyway, so expecting the government to be cool with any cannabis product in an alcoholic drink, is shortsighted at best. If you’re wondering why CBD can’t be in an alcoholic beverage either, the reason is because the Farm Bill of 2018 which legalized industrial hemp, only did that. It legalized industrial hemp. Hemp products for internal use are still governed by the FDA, which never made any allowance for CBD in food products.
All of this is expected, right? But what about the individual states that passed legalization measures. They’re already breaking with federal mandate by allowing legal weed, right? So its not like they have to care about the idea of allowing THC with alcohol, right? Though it seems like this shouldn’t be an issue, it actually kind of is; and this is representative of yet more weirdness in the regulation of cannabis.
THC and alcohol go together for so many people. Yet the governments passing legalization measures aren’t in agreement. As an example, in early 2018, before Massachusetts officially opened its cannabis market, this advisory came out by the government, specifically stating that “Cannabinoid extract from the cannabis plant is considered a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Infusing or otherwise adding cannabinoid extract in alcoholic beverages is considered adulteration of alcohol under M.G.L. c. 270, § 1.”
And that “it will remain unlawful to manufacture and/or sell alcoholic beverages containing any cannabinoid extracts, including tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and cannabidiol (“CBD”), regardless of whether it is derived from the cannabis plant or industrial hemp.”
In California, an industry advisory put out in 2021 makes clear that THC and alcohol can’t even be sold in the same establishment. Obviously, if they can’t be in the same place, a product therefore can’t contain both. Under the ABC Act (Alcoholic Beverage Control), no cannabis product can be given out or sold in an establishment with an ABC license.
Oregon has it too. In 2019, the state’s Liquor Control Commission stated that “beer and other alcoholic drinks as of Jan. 1 may not contain either THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, or CBD, the non-psychoactive part that is said to relieve stress and pain.” The same stipulation was made in Washington even earlier, with spokesperson for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, Mikhail Carpenter saying, “You cannot have a THC-infused beer with alcohol in it — it’s illegal in the state.”
Michigan isn’t any different. In 2018, Governor Rick Snyder signed a law that prohibits both the sale and possession of alcoholic drinks infused with any part of the cannabis plant. This was reiterated in 2020 upon the state legalizing the use of cannabis in infused drinks.
It doesn’t even require a recreational legalization to make the point. Iowa has done no such thing, yet made sure to point out in 2022 regulations, that “THC is considered a schedule I substance and is illegal in Iowa,” and that “CBD is only legal under the Medical Cannabidiol Act.” As such, “THC and CBD are prohibited in alcoholic beverages sold by license/permit holders in the state.”
This trend holds in Canada as well. In 2018, draft rules came out stating alcohol was banned from all cannabis products. In subsequent regulation, it makes the stipulation that ethyl alcohol used for the purposes of a cannabis tincture, is okay, so long as its no more than “0.5% w/w of the edible cannabis.”
Aren’t there tons of THC drinks?
Sometimes the press and marketing worlds can make things confusing. Just because products come out infused with THC (or some part of the cannabis plant), it doesn’t necessarily make them ‘wine’ or ‘beer’, even if those words are used in the description. The current fad in motion, is to offer cannabis infused drinks in place of alcohol drinks, not infused with alcohol. However, if you read ads or articles for these products, this point is not always immediately clear.
It’s hard to know exactly how big each sector of the cannabis market is. Realistically, so much functions outside of legal markets, that its hard to know how right-on official statistic are, anyway. Cannabis drinks are a newer item, debuting only in the last few years. According to an August 2022 article from Bloomberg, for one cannabis supplier LeafLink, which also deals in infused drinks, less than 1% of its sales were for drinks. But the article did go on to say that this particular company did see an approximately 5% increase month-over-month in 2021 and 2022 for drink sales.
Some states are seeing a noticeable uptick in these sales. The market for cannabis beverages grew a massive 247% in just the second quarter of 2022, from the previous year, in Michigan. According to Headset, a data and analytics company in the cannabis space, that equaled about $2.2 million in sales. Not the massive groundbreaking number that might be expected, but a decent start considering these products didn’t exist a few years ago.
Does this mean these products are direct competition for alcohol? Probably not. Just because cannabis is now found in beverage form, it doesn’t mean all those alcohol-lovers are going to substitute one for the other. If people choose to drink alcohol over smoking a joint, they’re probably going to choose to drink alcohol over a cannabis beverage as well. On the other hand, there is evidence to believe that cannabis might instigate a person to drink less, and in this vein, having them separate could be very beneficial.
While alcohol is certainly a substance that causes a lot of damage, both in users, and who those users hit on roadways; it still seems strange to me that this combination of THC and alcohol, doesn’t formally exist, (or at least not in a big or lasting way). I can only imagine that as regulations change and loosen, we actually will see some cannabis-infused alcohol products. Vendors like to make money, and if it’s what people want, eventually it’ll be here.
Cannabis infused drinks might stick around for a bit, but I’m guessing they’re nothing more than a fad. Perhaps if regulation changes, and THC and alcohol do start going together, then there might be more staying power. For now, no government seems to want this, and this segregation (whether you agree with it or not) stands as just another measure of incoherent regulation.
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The biggest cannabis business convention happened in November, and it gave us some great insights into the current trends in the world of weed. It also emphasized where there is still some funky discombobulation in cannabis laws. Once again at 2022’s MJBizcon, there was still no THC on the floor, while alcohol was still openly sold.
Why it matters – reason #1 – it’s literally a convention for weed
There are three main reasons why it matters that MJBizCon didn’t allow THC, but did allow alcohol. The first is basic logic. What’s the point of going to a convention, where you can’t sample real products? And therefore, what’s the point of being an exhibitor, if you can’t really get consumers, or potential business partners, to really know what you’re making. This doesn’t apply to every company, or every part of the industry, but it applies to many.
This is a business convention that revolves around making consumer products in some form, and as a business that revolves around THC, not having that main ingredient, means making it difficult for a lot of companies.
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Can you imagine going to a wine festival, or a whiskey festival, or a cheese festival, and being told that you couldn’t try any of the respective products. Imagine a wine festival with fake wine, or a cheese festival where you could eat the product, but without that specific ingredient. Whether you’re a consumer, or looking to make business connections, not getting a good idea of a product, stymies the entire process.
Functionally, as a convention about weed, in a state where weed is legal for recreational use, it becomes absurd that actual weed products, couldn’t be sampled or sold. As in, the entire purpose for many people to be there, was hindered by not getting a good idea of what the specific offering was. And that also meant ruling out a lot of companies from even showing, as not being able to preview their actual products, would make attending such a convention unnecessary.
Plenty of what was there didn’t technically need weed. Apparatus for mass growing or packaging, branding companies, insurance… But even those selling rolling papers or vapes had no way for their specific products to be tested, and therefore separated in any way from everything on either side. Realistically, when having a convention for something, its best to have that something there. In places without legalization measures its more understandable when this doesn’t happen, but in Las Vegas…?
Why it matters – reason #2 – it means weed is treated as more dangerous than alcohol
Maybe the bigger reason it matters that MJBizCon said no to THC, and yes to alcohol, is simply in the comparison it makes to a much more dangerous drug; which was openly sold and used, when weed products couldn’t be. Yup, I’m talking about alcohol. According to the CDC, in the US alone, alcohol kills about 140,000 people a year, while also being said to take as many as 26 years off a person’s life. While most of these deaths are not direct, they still make alcohol the #2 death-toll drug behind smoking.
Considering there is no death toll associated with cannabis, its odd that cannabis regulation often makes it harder to get to, than it is to get to the much more deadly alcohol. While real cannabis (and anything related to THC) was not allowed on the floor of MJBizCon, alcohol was openly sold and drank, sometimes right next to stalls where cannabis products were swapped out for fake plant material.
And while so much of the business industry focused on packaging (specifically child-proof packaging), a can or bottle of beer is still just as easy to open as a can of soda, and high proof alcohol requires nothing more than twisting a cap.
If you didn’t know better, and you saw this scene, you’d probably think cannabis actually is dangerous. And certainly way more dangerous than alcohol. In a scenario like this, without knowing more, it would appear that cannabis proposes incredible danger, while alcohol does not. Let’s remember, no one lives at that convention center, and everyone had to drive in if they didn’t get a ride, meaning plenty of people having drinks and driving back out. Seems like the convention organizers, and the state in general, were fine with that, but not with a person smoking a joint.
Why it matters – reason #3 – it means inconsistency and misunderstanding in cannabis regulation
Let’s be honest, I complained about this last year. This problem has existed for as long as the legal weed industry has been around. And pretty much every place with a legalization, follows these same crazy guidelines, wherein cannabis use must follow weirdly strict regulation, whereas alcohol, doesn’t. From where its sold, to who can use it, to where its legal to use. All these favor alcohol consumption over cannabis consumption, yet alcohol has only medical detractions, while cannabis is also used as a medicine.
That’s right, it’s not just that its consistently shown to be way less dangerous than alcohol for recreational use (like, not even in the same category), but it also helms a massive and growing world of medical use. People depend on it to live. We have study after study talking of the benefits for both medical issues, and general health, and yet its still easier to buy and use alcohol.
How long does it take for logic to set in? Why haven’t these laws been updated at all in a place like Nevada that has recreational use? And for that matter, how is it still federally illegal, while alcohol is one of the most ubiquitous drugs around? How can we ever expect this industry to function better, when we can’t even get regulators to regulate the industry honestly? It’s been years since many states passed measures, yet this inconsistency in regulation, never seems to go away. And when the biggest business convention, MJBizCon, says no to THC, while allowing alcohol, we know there really is a problem.
Why it REALLY matters at MJBizCon
This harks back to the first reason, but its an incredibly important point to make. MJBizCon is for the promotion of the weed industry, and all the businesses therein. It’s not a school, or a playground, or a bingo game. It’s a convention set up by industry insiders to help empower those in the industry by setting up a way for them to make new connections, and learn more about the industry.
In that sense, MJBizCon comes to represent the industry. And it’s not put on by parent groups, or teachers, or politicians. It’s put on by a weed-centered publication, and weed-centered businesses. Which makes me wonder how these proponents of weed, are okay with having this scenario. Why didn’t it come up as a major point of conversation?
Why didn’t we all sign a petition to get things to change? Why are we so complacent with having logic ignored in the face of nonsensical federal law? Am I the only person it occurs to that this inconsistency, when not focused on and fixed, just leads to more future inconsistencies?
It’s important for those within the industry, to stand up for it appropriately. That this issue has never been brought up at the convention, is sad to me. That there seems to still be a misunderstanding about these dangers in government regulation and statements, is sad to me. It means organizers are more interested in making a buck off alcohol sales, than working to make sure the public at their events is understanding of the regulation issue.
As long as nonsensical laws aren’t challenged, it means they’ll just continue on. Weed prices might have gone down in some places despite ridiculously high taxes, but that has more to do with overproduction driving down prices, than a realization that such heavy taxation, particularly sin taxes, make the industry less appealing than the black market. In the case of alcohol vs weed, we already have plenty showing us the danger of one, and the benefits of the other, yet the lack of consistent regulation, is constantly ignored, even though it too, hurts the industry.
MJBizCon was a great time, but it still represents through its barring of THC and allowance of alcohol sales, that the weed industry is very unevenly regulated, especially compared to the alcohol industry. Will this ever change in the future? We’ll have to wait and see.
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It was coming. We knew it by Shopify. And whatever happened is probably just the beginning of the story. We know the government isn’t thrilled about the cannabinoid industry, and now its making its first big, direct move, by using the FDA to go after delta-8 THC companies.
The FDA going after delta-8 companies is a predictable move, but who knows how this will end. We specialize in cannabis and psychedelics reporting, which you can follow along with by signing up for the THC Weekly Newsletter. You’ll also get prime access to deals on an array of cannabis products like vapes, edibles, and smoking paraphernalia. Plus, we’ve got tons of cannabinoid compounds like delta-8 THC as well. Please remember, *cannabinoid compounds are not preferred by everyone. We only support people buy products they are comfortable with.
What’s the news?
The CBD industry is already aware of how much the FDA doesn’t like it. The FDA has sent out letters to tons of companies over the years, reminding them about federal laws, and to stop producing and selling products that go against them. For the most part, this hasn’t had the biggest impact, and CBD, which is now cleared for medical use by the UN via updates to the Single Convention, is found pretty much everywhere.
On May 4th, 2022, the FDA made its first big, direct move in the cannabinoid space, by sending out warning letters to delta-8 companies, warning them that the products they are producing and selling, violate federal law. Five companies were targeted thus far, but perhaps more will receive letters in the future. After all, Shopify had to remove a lot of products, and the very same vendors are the targets of such letters.
The companies targeted by the FDA for their delta-8 products, are ATLRx Inc., BioMD Plus LLC, Delta 8 Hemp, Kingdom Harvest LLC, and M Six Labs Inc. These warning letters don’t leave CBD out, making mention of the company violations on that front too. According to Jonathan Havens, co-chair of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Cannabis Law Practice and the Food and Beverage Practice, “the five warning letters represent the first enforcement actions taken by FDA against delta-8 marketers.”
Part of the issue has to do with medical claims. According to the government agency, there are no approved drugs that contain delta-8, and so using delta-8 to make any claim for a medication, means making an unapproved claim, for a drug which is also unapproved. The FDA also attacked the idea of the mis-branding of products, with the complaints of not giving good enough instructions, as well as putting delta-8 in food products.
Said FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner, Janet Woodcock, “The FDA is very concerned about the growing popularity of delta-8 THC products being sold online and in stores nationwide… These products often include claims that they treat or alleviate the side effects related to a wide variety of diseases or medical disorders, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, nausea and anxiety. It is extremely troubling that some of the food products are packaged and labeled in ways that may appeal to children. We will continue to safeguard Americans’ health and safety by monitoring the marketplace and taking action when companies illegally sell products that pose a risk to public health.”
Of course, delta-8 THC has, indeed, been found useful for all the conditions mentioned, which does beg the question of why the government is trying so hard to protect its population from these compounds, especially in light of the no-death count attached. It has repeatedly been shown that additive products are the real main issue, and that cannabis compounds have yet to be associated with death. This is important because another government agency, the CDC, just requested to lower prescribing guidelines for opioids, which already kill as many as 70,000+ a year, even as other non-addictive, no death-toll measures like ketamine and cannabis, exist.
How did this come about?
This newer issue is a counterpart to the CBD issue, which has been going on for awhile now. The cannabinoid industry, led by delta-8 THC, is based on the idea of extracting cannabinoids from the hemp plant for use in products. But there’s a problem with this. Though some of the compounds can technically be extracted from hemp, like delta-8, they can only be extracted in tiny amounts, so that for product production, synthetic processes must be used. This takes these products out from under the definition of hemp, making them federally illegal.
CBD on the other hand, can be extracted in large enough quantities that the same issue of synthetics isn’t relevant. However, neither is cleared by the US federal government for internal use, and the only reason there’s a conversation, is as a result of the 2018 US Farm Bill. The bill instituted a new definition for hemp, in order to promote the industrial hemp industry. In so doing, it separated high-THC cannabis from low-THC cannabis, and defined ‘hemp’ as only certain parts of the actual plant, without including synthetics. It should be noted, however, that even though the US government says CBD is not legal in this way, it did approve epidiolex, a big-pharma synthetic version of CBD. It has also approved synthetic versions of THC (dronabinol).
Synthetics of any Schedule I substance (which are not big-pharma made and approved), are also Schedule I under the Federal Analogue Act. When compounds are made using synthetic processes, or that don’t exist in nature (delta-10), they are not covered under the definition of hemp. Nor is anything (plant or product) that has over .3% delta-9 THC.
Two of the many issues with the cannabinoid market, are that large amounts of delta-9 THC are often found in products, and that synthetic processing is used to make them. Though the industry uses the term ‘hemp-derived’, this only means that some aspect of it came from the hemp plant, although in reality, even this isn’t necessarily true. As the industry is not regulated, we simply don’t know what we’re buying, and that presents its own problem.
Though regulating the market could settle much of this, the federal government doesn’t want to do that. But it also doesn’t want to lose tax revenue, and that creates a conundrum. The government tends to take money from big pharma, not little mom-and-pop, so anything that can’t be transformed into pharmaceutical profits easily, isn’t desired by the government. It’s just like with Quaaludes, which were too easily made outside of pharma companies, making for a black market that the US couldn’t control.
What else has been done?
The FDA sending warning letters to delta-8 companies is the first big, above-board move by a government agency to try to stop this industry, but it wasn’t the first move made. A couple months ago, the biggest shopping sales platform, Shopify, started sending out its own similar letters, telling vendors they could not sell products with more than .3% delta-9 THC, and that they had to be in general compliance with federal law, which also rules out synthetics. Thus, tons of companies were affected.
Shopify didn’t stop with letters, and immediately forced companies to drop products from their online catalogues, that don’t meet regulation. This most certainly was a hit to the industry, though the lack of overall sales figures in general, makes it hard to know how much. Cannabinoid products are sold all over the place, and show up in a lot of small roadside stores. How much the industry relied on on-line sales, particularly from Shopify, is not clear.
Shopify didn’t make a statement about the US government making it do this. Nor did the US government make a statement about being involved in the Shopify issue. But most companies won’t shoot themselves in the foot if they don’t have to, and it’s hard to believe that Shopify would all of a sudden care about something it never cared about before. This was not an ongoing fight, but a directive that came out of nowhere. It suffices to say there was likely pressure from higher up, and that Shopify itself could have been shut down if it didn’t comply.
Are these products dangerous?
The US government hasn’t legalized cannabis yet, but we already know that that specific legalization is not what determines the safety of the plant. So regardless of whether something is federally illegal or not, whether it’s dangerous or not is an entirely different question. It’s almost joke level funny that Ms. Woodcock would speak about the dangers of compounds with no death toll, while close to 100,000 people die a year from government sanctioned opioids.
On top of that idea, the US government is getting close to passing a bill to legalize cannabis, whether it wants to call it a ‘legalization’, or a ‘decriminalization’. The MORE Act already passed the House and is now up for the Senate. And if that doesn’t make it, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer has his own baby, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which he’s carefully shopping around for support, and which hasn’t been officially offered, so as not to run out the clock prematurely.
Though a lot of reasons could be given for why the federal government is working hard now to pass something, one of the biggest reasons is that it must play catch-up with its states, so as not to seem powerless. Legalization measures are moving in only one direction, and its away from federal mandate. Soon enough, more and bigger publications, will point out how few people actually live under federal law concerning cannabis at this point. And as the government can no longer stop this train, it must now get on it, and pretend that was always the goal.
How much of an effect these FDA letters will have on the delta-8 industry is not known, and it might take some time to see results. The US government is obviously frustrated, but it’s also not in a position of power considering failed drug wars, and the lack of danger associated with this particular drug.
Maybe the delt-8 market isn’t the most savory. Maybe there are problems associated. But if the government really wanted to protect its people, it would do something substantial about the opioid epidemic, instead of railing against a plant (or its synthetic counterparts) which doesn’t realistically hurt anyone.
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As international COVID regulations lift, our beloved Canadian cities will once again welcome tourists who are looking for a beauty named Mary Jane to elevate their mood. One estimate of the impact of cannabis tourism on the Canadian economy runs as high as a $2 billion boost. Unfortunately, the industry faces severe limitations and Canadian cannabis business owners find […]
The cannabinoid market has been a strange and seedy place since it started. Not only do different cannabinoids come out weekly, advertising different benefits, but as an unregulated market these products can be sold for less money than dispensary products which are subject to cannabis taxes. Only problem? The lack of industry regulation has made this market a very sketchy, possibly dangerous place. In a new move, the US government is actually doing something about it, despite a long period of virtually no response.
The cannabinoid market is facing its first big challenge with Shopify enforcing a ban on the sale of THC products outside of regulation. What will happen next to the industry? We’ll all have to wait and see. We’ve got you covered with breaking news as it happens, so sign up for the THC Weekly Newsletterto stay up-to-date on the current news, and to get special deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and more products! Our offers on cannabinoids, like HHC-O, Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC, won’t break the bank, and can still be bought here. Head over to our “Best-of” lists for these deals, and enjoy your products responsibly!
What is the cannabinoid market?
We all know what regular cannabis is, it’s been a staple recreational drug for a very long time throughout history. And we’re all aware of CBD, which has grown in popularity as a non-psychoactive part of the plant (which actually translates to a non-high-inducing part since CBD is most definitely psychoactive.) CBD has gained momentum the world over though, not just in the US.
However, the US is home to another unregulated market that came out of the same legislation that propelled CBD, the cannabinoid market. What is that? We all know THC and CBD are cannabinoids, so what is this other cannabinoid market? It’s a market made up of minor cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, most of which only show up naturally in the plant in small amounts, or which don’t actually exist in nature, and were formulated in a lab based on compounds like THC.
The most well-known at this point is delta-8 THC, an isomer of delta-9 in that they share the same chemical formula, and have very similar properties. Chemically, the only difference is the placement of a double bond, which for delta-9 takes place on the 9th carbon atom on a chain, and for delta-8, on the 8th. Delta-8 is naturally occurring, likely as a degradant of delta-9, but must be synthesized for product production since it occurs in such small amounts.
Other cannabinoid entrants into the market include delta-10 THC, THC-O, HHC, THCV, THCA, and more. As none of these cannabinoids have been through much testing, not much is known about them, with delta-8 offering the greatest amount of information. In essence, different cannabinoids have been released into the market where no information on them exists, including no testing for safety. Though it seems these compounds are not explicitly dangerous, this can never be said for sure without applicable research done, especially of the synthetics that don’t appear in nature. Which means the public is being sold completely untested products, and is being told they’re safe.
In short, Shopify, one of the largest online retail platforms, is no longer allowing the sale of delta-8 THC, or any other cannabinoid with over .3% THC. This is a good time to remind everyone that the term ‘THC’ refers not specifically to delta-9 THC, but to any tetrahydrocannabinol, of which there are many, as well as any analogue of THC made synthetically. There doesn’t seem to be an official news story on the topic, and its likely that Shopify, in an effort to do this quietly, never made a press statement. Instead, letters have been sent out to retailers, explaining that any THC cannabinoid is forbidden from being sold on their sites using the Shopify platform, if the THC amount is above .3%. The company Reef Canna released their letter through MJBizWire, which states:
“It has come to our attention that you are using your Shopify account, reefcanna.myshopify.com, to sell Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products containing more than 0.3% THC.
“Unfortunately, due to applicable laws and regulations in the United States, Shopify’s policies do not currently permit merchants to offer for sale products containing more than 0.3% THC regardless of compound type (e.g., delta-8, delta-9, delta-10).
The below products have been removed and cannot be reposted (this may not be an exhaustive list)…”
The following was a list of products by the company that Shopify is no longer allowing the brand to sell. The letter then continued:
“Please note that any further violation of Shopify’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), including the reposting of the content above, may result in the suspension or termination of your Shopify account.
We understand that the cannabis space is quickly evolving. In the future, if applicable federal and state laws and regulations in the United States change, we may be able to support these products on Shopify.
Please carefully review the rest of your shop to ensure it complies with Shopify’s AUP and Terms of Service.
More information about selling hemp-derived products can be found here.
To show just how confused many writers are, the writer of the article containing the letter, goes on to tell consumers that they can still buy legal delta-9 in 10mg gummies if its hemp-derived. This is not actually true, as hemp-derived THC is synthetic, and would therefore still not meet regulation, even if the gummy is four grams, making the delta-9 content less than .3%. It also states that HHC is fine as well, but this is also synthetic, which means it too is not covered by the Farm Bill, and as an analogue of delta-9, is therefore illegal.
This letter might specify everything under the umbrella of ‘THC’, but in order to be in compliance with the law, Shopify would also have to rule out all synthetics. On the Shopify website it has been made clear that all FDA regulation must be followed for selling hemp-derived products, and even requires merchants to fill out an ‘Attestation’ in order to sell hemp and hemp-derived products on their sites.
Why did this happen?
The confusion over the cannabinoid market stems from the 2018 US Farm Bill. The Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp so long as the THC content is no more than .3% in dry weight for the plant, as well as for final products. The thing is, this was meant strictly for industrial hemp. However, it was taken up by many as a way to advertise and sell cannabinoids that aren’t specifically delta-9 THC, and which can technically be derived from the hemp plant, by simply saying that the level of delta-9 THC in the products meets regulation. The problem with this argument, is that it never made sense.
The way industrial hemp got legalized, was by making a definition for it that separated it from marijuana. The definition for hemp became: “The plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, including the plant’s seeds, and all the plant’s derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Not only is this meant for industrial hemp only, but the wording of it specifically states any product made must come exclusively from the hemp plant. Which means it in no way legalized anything synthetically derived, or anything meant for medical or health supplementation. When the bill came out, hemp cultivation and production went from being regulated by the FDA, to the USDA, but nothing else moved, leaving everything else under FDA regulation. And it’s the FDA that regulates anything taken internally for supplemental or medical purposes.
This was all backed up when a confirmation letter was sent to the Alabama Board of Pharmacy’s executive director Donna C. Yeatman, R.Ph. from the DEA in reference to the legality of delta-8. It explained “D8-THC is a tetrahydrocannabinol substance contained in the plant Cannabis sativa L. and also can be produced synthetically from non-cannabis materials… Thus, D8-THC synthetically produced from non-cannabis materials is controlled under the CSA as a “tetrahydrocannabinol.”” Tetrahydrocannabinols are Schedule I, and this goes for any other synthetically made analogue of THC as well.
Why does it matter?
This could have gone in different directions. But since the US government is holding fast to keeping cannabis illegal (for now), the idea that these substances will get regulated, is not very realistic. Instead, they proliferated as part of an untaxed, unregulated black market, being sold in fake dispensaries, all kinds of other stores, and the internet, since without regulation, they don’t need to be sold in legitimate dispensaries only.
The problem with no regulation is that the market can be taken advantage of by seedy retailers, who lie about their products, and what’s in them. In fact, the market has gone so far south as to institute fake 3rd party testing facilities to encourage trust in consumers, through bogus safety results. And though the cannabinoids themselves are unlikely (but not definitely) the cause, without regulation, retailers can put whatever they want in a product, from extra chemicals to flavor, stabilize, or thin out vape oils, to cheaper synthetics in products like vape cartridges and edibles.
There have already been stories of lawsuits against companies whose products were found to contain high doses of THC, while advertising only CBD, as well as fatalities involved with poisonings from bad products. Technically the numbers are still low – (let’s remember the US government is totally cool with allowing opioids which come with a massive death toll), but it does present the problem of a growing market, that gets dirtier as it gets bigger, with no accountability whatsoever.
In the end, the US government likely cares way less about the safety issues (opioids remember), than it does about having black market industries it can’t control. Though it’s done virtually nothing to stop this industry thus far, (probably because of the cost and unpopularity of fighting wars on drugs, especially when the drugs have no real death count), it seems it did finally make a move. It might do the same with other major platforms as well, but how much this will actually root out the problem is hard to say, considering how many outlets sell these cannabinoids.
The US government has been pretty quiet thus far when it comes to the cannabinoid market. Apart from backing up the Farm Bill and legalities (eg – the letter to Alabama), and making a few random busts, it seemed the government was at a stand still. This move through Shopify does show a desire to gain control of the situation. But the real questions are: 1) Is forcing Shopify to force retailers to comply enough? 2) Will more online retail platforms also get letters? And 3) what impact can this have when tons of physical locations also sell these products? Stay tuned to find out.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
The latest cannabis news out of Michigan shows that even government agencies need a rebrand sometimes.
Such is the case in Michigan, where the state’s governor Gretchen Whitmer announced last week that she has taken action “to consolidate the regulatory bodies within the State of Michigan that oversee cannabis and hemp processing, distribution, and sale to improve efficiency.”
As a result of the change, the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency will be called the Cannabis Regulatory Agency from now on.
The newly named agency will now regulate “the processing, distribution, and sale of both hemp and marijuana going forward,” according to a press release out of Whitmer’s office.
Prior to the changes, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) regulated hemp, while the Marijuana Regulatory Agency––naturally––oversaw marijuana.
“Consolidating multiple government functions into the newly named Cannabis Regulatory Agency will help us continue growing our economy and creating jobs,” Whitmer, a first-term Democrat, said in a statement on Friday. “And to be blunt-safe, legal cannabis entrepreneurship, farming and consumption helps us put Michiganders first by directing the large windfall of tax revenue from this new industry to make bigger, bolder investments in local schools, roads, and first responders.”
The restructuring comes via executive order from Whitmer, and is scheduled to take effect in 60 days.
“Consolidating the regulation of the processing, distribution, and sale of marijuana and hemp into a single state agency will allow for more effective and efficient administration and enforcement of state laws relating to cannabis,” read the executive order. “The expertise of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development necessitates their continued regulation of the cultivation of hemp. Changing the organization of the executive branch of state government is necessary in the interests of efficient administration and effectiveness of government.”
According to the Detroit News, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency was also established through executive order in 2019, after Michigan voters approved a ballot initiative that legalized recreational pot use for adults in the 2018 election. The agency was also charged with overseeing both recreational and medicinal cannabis in the state (the latter has been legal there since 2008).
That executive order “abolished the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation, created in the wake of the legalization of recreational marijuana in November, and the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board, created under a 2016 law approved by the GOP-led Legislature,” according to the Detroit News, and also “delegated responsibility related to the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.”
Lawmakers in Michigan offered up a series of bills late last year that would have imposed stiffer restrictions on the amount of cannabis a caregiver can grow, lowering the number of allowed plants from 72 to 24.
One of the sponsors of the bills, Republican state House Representative Jim Lilly, said the proposals were designed to give structure to an unregulated industry.
“Two-thirds of the market right now of cannabis in Michigan is unregulated and so what that means is the majority of that product can be untested,” Lilly said, as quoted by local television station WOOD TV. “So, for cancer patients, those with immunocompromised situations, getting access to a safe product is really important. Some of this untested product has been found to contain mold, pesticides, E. coli, salmonella.”
“New York just went through some of this work and they’ve done about 12 plants for six patients, compared to what I’ve proposed at 24, but our current law allows for 72, which for anyone who does any growing or cultivating cannabis knows is far more than six patients can possibly consume,” he added.
CBD is a dicey subject because of laws relating to the legality and sale of products. This extends to most retailers as no regulation exists federally, and is not always followed by states. As an example of the growing issues in the industry, well-known company Curaleaf, just had to pay out as a result of lawsuits about tainted CBD products.
Curaleaf and its tainted CBD products highlight a major regulation issue in the legal cannabis industry, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t good products, just that consumers must do their due diligence. This is also true of the cannabinoids market which contains products like delta-8 THC, THCV, and HHC. Remember to subscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter all the latest news and industry stories, as well as exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products. Also save big on Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!
What’s the news?
The Massachusetts-based company Curaleaf, which also operates out of facilities in Oregon and as well as being on the Canadian stock exchange as CURA, found itself in hot water this year with 10 lawsuits waged against it for selling tainted CBD products. How were they tainted? They contained a large dose of THC, which was not listed on the packaging, and not a part of the marketing for the products.
The products in question are Curaleaf’s Select brand CBD Wellness Drops, which the company says workers in a Portland facility managed to confuse with THC drops. The CBD drops are made from hemp, and are not supposed to have THC in them, or at the very least, not in the large quantity that apparently made it in.
Curaleaf paid out $50,000 to settle a case in September, brought on by Ayuba Agbonkhese, an Idaho resident who claimed he ended up in an emergency room after ingesting the drops without knowing their THC content. Agbonkhese specifically wanted the public to know all the terms of this deal, in order to bring more awareness to this tainted products problem. He is, in fact, quite correct about the size of the problem, and the need for more attention on it. In his words:
“It was important for me to make sure that the company, as well as other companies like this, become more accountable. I want a safer community. That is my main reason for doing this in this way… I want them to be better and I want the industry to be better.” Apparently, though Curaleaf did pay out, it did not see fit to formally apologize.
Agbonkhese is not the only person to have an issue. At least four others had to be treated in an emergency room after using the same tainted CBD products. Agbonkhese’s case was the only one where the terms were made public, but nine other cases total have been settled by Curaleaf for its tainted CBD products.
Is that it?
Nope. Three other cases remain open, including a wrongful death suit. Honestly, while Curaleaf represents a huge issue in the CBD industry, the wrongful death case does seem to be a stretch, and also likely representative of opportunism for a payout. In that particular case, the person died weeks after ingesting the drops, and was otherwise sick, making the claim not only a bit silly, but unwise considering it dilutes what are actual and legitimate claims.
The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) is currently investigating Curaleaf. Curaleaf acquired Cura Cannabis (Select), in 2019, and has sold hundreds of tainted CBD products throughout Oregon in the past year. It should be mentioned, that while an unexpected THC overdose is certainly not fun, and in these cases, 100% unexpected, it is also non-lethal. But the whole idea of tainted CBD products begs the question of whether there could be other issues with Curaleaf’s products, and similar products on the market.
Curaleaf did recall both the products in question, the Select CBD Wellness Drops, and the high-THC drops. But this happened because they were forced to by Oregon regulators. The OLCC has been investigating the situation since that time, as it represents the first time this has really become a large news story.
While Curaleaf has said very little about the settlements, it has stated that the cause of these issues was ‘human error’, and that processes have been updated as a result of the incidences. The company has not stated whether anyone was held accountable, or how these mistakes were actually made. As it was an ongoing issue with this company that spanned months of time, these questions are very relevant, along with what else could be wrong with these products if they haven’t gone through the testing they were supposed to.
The problem with the CBD industry
The main issue with the CBD industry at large, is that it’s not federally legal, and therefore not federally regulated. The reason CBD is technically illegal for food, as a supplement, or a non-prescription medicine, is that CBD is already the active ingredient of an approved pharmaceutical medication (Epidiolex), and under US law, once a compound is an active ingredient in an approved medication, it can no longer be marketed as a dietary supplement, or be used in food products. Therefore the CBD industry in the US at large (with a few exceptions), isn’t legal, and products on the market are not being regulated for what is in them.
However, this doesn’t actually apply to Oregon as a legalized state. Since Oregon set laws counter to the US federal government, though it is breaking federal law with these sales, it’s legal due to state laws. And that means CBD sales are perfectly legal in Oregon, and able to be regulated!
There is a lot that’s said about the growing cannabinoids industry in the US, which includes CBD as well as minor cannabinoids like delta-8 THC, THCV, and HHC. There is increasing wariness of the industry, and for good reason, as it operates 100% as an unregulated black market, selling products outside of legal dispensaries, offering illegal merchandise online, and creating black market testing facilities to give the illusion of regulation, though these have repeatedly shown to be scams.
But once again, Oregon is a legalized state, so these issues, though still existent since synthetics are not legalized in the state, at least shouldn’t apply to the CBD industry. And yet, we can see they clearly do. If Curaleaf had this ongoing issue for months, then whatever product testing it was supposed to be doing that whole time, obviously wasn’t being done at all. If this is the best we can expect out of a legal company, it really doesn’t imply anything good about any delta-8 company, or any other company not working within legal parameters.
What this means is that there are substantial problems with getting things done properly in the cannabis industry. Whether this is because companies don’t have the money to pay out to testing facilities, whether bribes are being made to pass products illegally, or if this simply represents greed by large companies (we see this literally all the time), is hard to say. But when the legit industry starts looking like the black market, you know there’s definitely a problem.
What this means for buyers
While this problem could be specific to Curaleaf, nothing about this industry indicates it is, and if a bigger company with means isn’t going about things properly, what can we realistically expect of the rest? On the other hand, big corporations are sometimes known for being a lot dirtier in their practices than smaller mom and pops. Perhaps it indicates more a showing of the general corporate attitude of not caring about consumers, let alone their own workers, than an actual inability to create decent products consistently.
This undoubtedly creates a big issue for users, when what are seen as legit companies cannot be trusted. Ordinarily I say ‘know your brands’ and perhaps this is still the best answer, but it’s not a great one. With newer industries, after all, the idea of knowing a brand is limited to only the recent future, and sometimes, like with CBD products, without any history of other products to know them by. As such, the idea of knowing your brands is not as easy as it might be when buying other products with more established brands.
It does mean that customers are now really put to the task of doing due diligence. Especially if they don’t want to solely depend on state regulators to decide if a company is safe, and if its doing everything it’s supposed to be doing to ensure safe products, that are what they say they are.
Truth is, I expect there to be more of these cases. The weed industry is a dirty place these days, way dirtier than when it was a 100% illegal industry. So far, legalizations have done nothing but get us overpriced dispensaries, massive fakes markets, and adulterated products. If not for the fact that it might be slightly harder to get arrested in some places, not much really good has been accomplished by all this, with Curaleaf standing as a beacon to this sentiment.
Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your #1 internet spot for all the most important and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news relevant today. Visit us whenever you can to stay educated on the fast-paced universe of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to check out The THC Weekly Newsletter, so you never miss a single thing.
Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.
The OLCC announced in a December 28 press release that it would be implementing new cannabis rules that will take effect between 2022 and 2023. Steve Marks, OLCC executive director, addressed the need for these changes, expressing the desired outcome after the changes go live.
“These rules try to balance a number of different concerns—consumer health and safety, interests of small and large operators in our industry and public safety concerns around loopholes in the Federal Farm Bill of 2018, and the illicit farm production taking place in Oregon,” Marks said.
The source of these changes began with the approval of House Bill 3000 and Senate Bill 408. HB-3000 creates a foundation for limitations on “THC-laden hemp products from being sold unregulated in Oregon,” while SB-408 restructured penalties for licensees who violated the rules.
The press release also states that the violation categories that have been in place since 2016 are outdated, and the new rules plan to build off of the current industry landscape. Some of the new rules went into effect on January 1, 2022; however, other rules won’t immediately go live and will instead roll out from now through the beginning of 2023.
The OLCC notes that the “fading threat of Federal government action” due to the number of states that have legalized cannabis has also led to another rule change that restructures and reduces penalties for licensees who violate certain rules. OLCC Commissioner Matt Maletis admits that although it isn’t a perfect solution, it will still help the industry as a whole. “It may not make everybody happy, but it’s a pathway, and I think it solves a lot of the issues,” Maletis stated.
Rules will also be changing for consumers. After the new year begins, consumers will be able to purchase two ounces of usable cannabis (up from one). The amount of milligrams for edibles in particular will be increased from 50mg THC per package to 100mg THC, which will be eligible for sale after April 1, 2022. Additionally, “artificially derived cannabinoids” such as CBN or delta-8 products are now required to go through a review process to determine if they meet the standard of “New Dietary Ingredient,” with 18 months to ensure compliance.
Home delivery services will also be permitted in any city or county that allows it, and the OLCC is making plans to create a new section on its website to inform consumers about new delivery zones.
Marks concluded the press release with a reminder that there were many factors to these changes and the OLCC is confident it will improve the industry going forward. “We did listen to the public and did make significant changes to these rules, and I want to reiterate that we have come a very long way,” said Marks. “And this industry established success for Oregon. We are creating a successful business market, a successful consumer market. This is another big turn of progress.”
Oregon has met a variety of hurdles recently, including the still-thriving black market—so much that it was declared a state of emergency. However, legislation such as Senate Bill 893 is being crafted to combat illegal cultivation for the time being. Still, the state was also chosen to receive a $10 million grant to continue hemp research through the Global Innovation Center at Oregon State University. The grant program is known to be competitive, and Oregon researchers at OSU shared that they felt fortunate to be chosen among other elite institutions to receive the funds.
Edibles like gummies have brought up a whole new topic in the world of weed: the importance of child-proof edibles packaging. When taking a look at the debate going on, it becomes clear that the biggest problem is not the legal market, but the competing black market. And when getting down to realities, the question arises of why the same stringent standards aren’t applied to alcohol.
You know your edibles are most likely real when they come in child-proof edibles packaging that’s hard to open. And this is good because it keeps kids from being exposed to high levels of THC and other synthetic chemicals. For those who prefer to vape, so their kids won’t notice edibles, you can choose from a range of cannabis compounds besides regular delta-9. Like delta-8 THC, THCV, CBN, and even hemp-derived delta-9. For more articles like this one, make sure tosubscribe to The THC Weekly Newsletter. Also save big on Delta 8, Delta 9 THC, Delta-10 THC, THCO, THCV, THCP & HHC products by checking out our “Best-of” lists!
Up until the last few years, the world of cannabis edibles consisted of cooking up some brownies or chocolate chip cookies in your own kitchen. Some standard dealers would offer products like this, sometimes as one-offs, but it wasn’t the standard mode of anything. Edibles were a fun ‘other’ way to do the weed thing, but there wasn’t a massive culture of it on the black market, and they weren’t a main player in the cannabis game.
This all changed with the application of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is a part of the technology world that deals with the manipulation of particles which have sizes less than 100 nanometers. 100 nanometers is about 1000th the thickness of a piece of paper to give an idea of the sizes we’re speaking of. The same general topic in the world of physics, is nanoscience, and the two studies are closely linked together.
Part of nanotechnology, is the ability for emulsions, which is the forcing together of two opposing liquids. Emulsions done on bigger particles are called macroemulsions or microemulsions depending on the specific size. However, when the particle sizes drop to 20-200 nm, it becomes known as a nanoemulsion. Emulsions for larger particles are already used widely in the food industry, and chemicals industry, whereas nanoemulsions are already seen being used by pharmaceutical companies, the cosmetics industry, and in biotech.
The beauty of emulsions is that they can force together oil-based and water-based molecules. In the world of weed, this means the ability to take oil-based cannabinoids like delta-9 THC, and force them together with water-based compounds. So whereas we used to be limited to foods that use oils, like butter (cookies, brownies, cakes…), we can now infuse anything with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, into products like soda, potato chips, and candy. As such a new and growing industry of cannabis edibles has arisen, eating cannabis – particularly as gummies, has become one of the primary ways of ingesting the plant.
How popular are edibles?
In terms of what that means in numbers, though there aren’t amazing statistics out there just yet, there are a few metrics we can go by. One of the better measurements to be released comes from the company Headset, a Seattle-based cannabis analytics company, which put out end-of-year data for 2020. According to the company, edibles made up 11.07% of the cannabis market in 2020 across the states: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. That percentage is up 10.65% from the previous year.
Does this account for the entire edibles market, even in the mentioned states? No, it doesn’t. One of the biggest issues is the fakes markets, which encompass fake products like vapes and edibles, as well as the very dispensaries they’re sold out of.
As legal markets have uniformly been unable to take down black markets, and as black markets morph to look more like legal ones, (with all the same products therein), actual trends of the cannabis industry must therefore include them, or only a fragment of the behavior we’re looking into, is being spoken about. I can’t wager a guess as to how adding in the black market effects this percentage, but from my experiences in illegal dispensaries, they gear a huge amount of business towards edibles, and my guess is that the percentage would remain the same (if not go up).
The need for child-proof edibles packaging
Weed has been around for quite some time. And so have little children. Up until recently, there wasn’t an issue of children accidentally consuming said marijuana, at least not on any kind of large scale that would necessitate reporting. Probably because a dried-up plant that smells funny isn’t all that interesting to a kid. You know what is interesting to a kid? Candy! Kids sure love candy!
The problem this creates is that as edibles becomes more widespread, it means logically they end up in more places, with more people having access to them. A bag of super nice nugs lying on a couch will likely be bypassed by a toddler. But a bag of brightly colored gummy worm candies? A lot less likely. Even if the kid messes with the flowers, that’ll most likely entail getting your couch dirty and ruining your stash. If the kid messes with the bag of cannabis gummy worms, they could end up ingesting huge amounts of THC, and in the case of fake edibles, synthetics and other untold chemicals.
While the idea of simply changing how they look, and the packaging, could (possibly) assuage this problem, simply by not connecting the idea of these gummies to anything a child would consider candy-related, (including using the designs of known brands), this does not seem to be an idea on the table for illegal companies. Legal companies, however, comply with regulation, and actually do provide child-proof edibles packaging that doesn’t advertise the product in pictures.
Real vs fake
Every time I’ve bought edibles from a real dispensary, I’ve had to break through the child-proof measures of the edibles packaging. The outer plastic has no slit on the side to tear from, the plastic can’t be easily pulled apart like you might do to open a standard bag of popcorn, and it even took a little extra force for me to puncture it with a knife. Inside the plastic was a separate container, which obviously blocks view of the product, and with no pictures on the packaging. The containers themselves are tightly packaged in a separate layer of plastic, and it took me a couple minutes to get the thick coverings off, as they were practically sealed to the containers. I have never had a quicker or easier experience than this.
Though there might be issues with some legal companies dropping the ball with packaging, from my experience, this problem really relates to the black market where there are no regulations in place for how things should be packaged, and no desire by the companies to care about it in order to preserve a brand name. Major candy companies have waged law suits against these cannabis companies, mainly on intellectual property rights. Of course, a legal cannabis brand would never mimic a known brand, so whoever is being sued, isn’t from the legal world of weed to begin with.
If you’re thinking ‘hey, I just saw gummies online in colorful, easy-to-open, familiar looking packaging’, just remember, no regulated company will be involved in selling THC products outside of legal dispensaries. If the product is offering more than legal limits of THC, then you know for sure its fake. And if the branding on the product looks like a known brand – but slightly off, its a slam dunk fake. These products might be just fine, but as illegal companies masquerading as legal ones, there’s no way of knowing what actually ends up in the products, or how easy it will be to get through the packaging.
Wait a second…what about alcohol?
It indeed makes sense to be careful with a cannabis food that looks like a child’s favorite thing to eat. But it does highlight a strange inconsistency where cannabis is treated as more dangerous than alcohol. This was well exemplified at the 2021 MJBizCon cannabis event held in Las Vegas, Nevada in October. According to state law in Nevada, though cannabis is legal for personal use, and there is a regulated market, cannabis cannot be used in public places, and though a social smoking law is supposed to be enacted in Vegas, it wasn’t relevant at the time. According to law, it would have been illegal to give out samples, or allow people to get high there.
But at the very same time, there was alcohol being sold right next to these booths which the convention was centered around, and which couldn’t provide samples of their own THC-containing products. As in, there isn’t a law that you can’t give samples of alcohol, or sell it to consumers, or allow consumers to mingle while using it, but there is for weed.
Now, let’s be honest about something else, you know what else kids love besides candy? Soda! And what does soda come in? Cans and bottles with the exact same twist off caps and pull-up tabs that beer cans use, in the exact same style bottles and cans that beer companies use, often with bright colors and cool pictures, just like beer.
I have personally been able to operationally open both twist off caps and pull-up tabs since I was about five years old. So, the idea that alcohol is not being held to these same stringent standards is silly at best. Especially considering that drinks are drank over time, and left out in places during this process, often forgotten about in drunkenness, and frequently mixed with sweet smelling ingredients that would attract any child. Now remember that whereas cannabis is not associated with death rates (although a small child consuming massive amounts of THC is questionable), alcohol comes with a huge one, being one of the leading risk factors for overall disability and death in many age categories!
Child-proof packaging for cannabis products is most certainly important, but the bigger issues seems to be the unregulated products on the black market. Kids are way less likely to be attracted to gummies sold by regulation which aren’t visible or being advertised to them, then a package that looks like their favorite candy. As legal companies will go by regulation, this is a black market issue.
What is more than a black market issue though, is the unfair treatment of weed compared to alcohol. Yeah, child-proof edibles packaging is good and should be used, but maybe then we should be more cognizant of how readily and easily available we make alcohol to children.
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Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.