Colorado has some of the most potent cannabis in America: one study conducted by the Colorado Department of Revenue found the average potency of marijuana in the state is higher than you might expect: 17.1 percent for bud, and 62.1 percent for concentrates. It's great news for medical users and recreational consumers interested in getting the maximum effects of the drug. Breeders and growers are constantly innovating products that are even higher in THC.
But this "sky's the limit" atmosphere could soon change with the success of a proposed ballot initiative and an amendment to a bill in the State House. The proposed ballot initiative, supported by Republican state representative Kathleen Conti, would cap the THC potency of recreational products at 15 -16 percent THC. Backers want to quash the ever-strengthening products on the market until the effects of THC on the brain are better researched - specifically with regard to child brain development.
But some in the industry are concerned that the proposed THC limit would send recreational users and patients back to the black market in search of better products. Some extracts, which can test between 70-80 percent THC, could be removed from the market altogether
"I don't think a lot of thought was put into the proposals," iComply CEO Mark Slaugh told The Cannabist. "This bill threatens to wipe out most infused product manufacturers, and its language is unclear as to what to do with edibles."
Josh Hindi of Dabble Extracts said such a THC limit "would remove concentrates in total from any kind of retail operation.. We would have to dilute our products to get them to 15 percent," said Hindi.
The initiative filed last week also contained proscriptions regarding labelling and packaging required for cannabis products. If passed, the amendment would ban recreational stores from selling products with more that 15 percent potency, with violators risking a license revocation or $100,000 fine.
In order for the amendment to qualify for the ballot, a series of hearings first need to take place. Proponents also need to collect 98,492 signatures from Colorado voters.
"According to the latest House calendar Monday," write John Ingold and Ricardo Baca of the Cannabist, "the bill has not yet been rescheduled for a vote in the Finance Committee."
In short: enjoy those super-high THC strains while you can.