Most of you may have had a bit of bewilderment that spanned across the Washington state cannabis industry. What was once a flurry of uplifted spirits among consumers turned into a startled state of confusion and frustration. Washington lawmakers took it upon themselves to put more restrictions on cannabis products. On January 18, Leafly reported that Washington lawmakers passed a bill to ban all cannabis concentrates products in the state. The ban comes after verified reports about psychosis cases that were provoked after the consumption of cannabis concentrate products with a higher THC potency. According to Market Watchlist lawmakers in Washington state, a study showcased that cannabis concentrates with 10% or more THC cause psychotic disorders. Because of this finding, lawmakers made the decision to limit the overall potency level of concentrates in the state.
This bill proposal would ban vape cartridges, dabble extracts, and other concentrated products. Washington state saw almost half of its legal cannabis sales at 40% in 2019 from these cannabis infused products. It is almost virtually guaranteed this will effect the recreational cannabis market in a way that is not completely predicable; from the producer of these products, to the seller, all the way to the consumer. It won’t just effect the sales, which is a concern of the Washington lawmakers.
Leo Beletsky, a professor of law and public health at Northwestern University, said, “If 40% of the market is toward these products and then you ban them, you’d definitely be creating a push towards the black market.” Legal cannabis sales bring in a ton of tax revenue. Banning most of these sought after products will also push consumers towards the illegal market, which could greatly impact cannabis companies’ sales.
Christine Bryant, the marketing director for cannabis retailer Hashtag, thinks that passing the new bill would impact the company’s inventory. Many CBD concentrates also contain 20% THC.
Leafly also mentioned that a lot of industry experts and professional have the opinion that producing low potency concentrates will be a definite challenge for producers. In general, concentrates are known to have a high level of potency—up to 100% in some. In order to create concentrates with a lower potency according to the new proposal, producers will have to dilute them.
The restrictions and the ban could force users to make home extracts, which could be dangerous if the procedure isn’t right.
We will keep you up to date as we learn more about this subject within the marijuana industry.