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THC Cap for Smokable Medical Marijuana Headed to House Floor

April 9th, 2019 by Jake Stofan

Medical Marijuana patients in the state can now smoke their medicine, but a new bill would put restrictions on the strength of the medicine.

Representative Ray Rodrigues is sponsoring legislation that would limit the THC concentration for whole flower medical marijuana to 10%.

He points to research that has linked high potency flower to an increased risk of psychosis.

“Daily smoking of high THC cannabis made the user five times more likely to experience psychosis for the first time than a non user,” said Rodriguez, citing a study published by the Lancet in March.

But Rep Carlos Guillermo Smith says the study Rodrigues cites, is misleading.

“Many of those participants already had incidents of psychosis,” said Smith.

For nearly 2 hours, patients and advocates testified in opposition in the bill’s final committee meeting in the House.

Advocates say limiting THC in smokable cannabis will force patients back on to the black market, where higher potency product is readily available.

“The high THC products that are on the market currently are working well for me,” said Tanya Bailey with Vets for Buds.

At times emotions boiled over

“I will not be able to work. I will not be able to live a proper day,” said medical marijuana patient William Philips.

Two speakers were nearly removed from the hearing.

Regardless, the bill passed with a vote down party lines.

Rodrigues is brushing off the criticism, arguing opponents need to bring more than emotional testimony to the debate.

“I come back to where I’ve been the entire time, bring the science and I’m going to follow the science,” said Rodrigues.

The bill has not been filed in the Senate.

Rodrigues also says he has not heard the Governor weigh in on the proposed potency caps.

In addition to the THC caps on smokable, the bill also limits doses for edibles to 10 milligrams of THC and would waive the $75 dollar medical marijuana card fee for veterans.

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