blue gloved hands dropping cannabis liquid in to test tube with cannabis oil in beakers and cannabis flower in jar on white table

Although cannabis has been legalized in many states and is now being considered for federal legalization, cannabis companies now face a new battle. Lawmakers across the country and Capitol legislators are now trying to pass laws that would require manufacturers to limit the potency of their products.

The continually rising levels of THC has raised concerns over the public health consequences it may lead to, and even states that led the legalization movement, such as Colorado and Washington, are debating limiting THC levels.

Legislative Efforts

The cannabis industry has historically operated illegally and was largely unregulated. Most of the industry veterans are unaccustomed to facing this level of control and scrutiny from external bodies. The cannabis industry is primarily against these proposals, and so far, all attempted legislative efforts have failed. Only Vermont has successfully instated a limit on THC, with concentrate product limited to 60 percent and flowers to 30 percent.

Despite these efforts, proposals have been introduced by both the Democrat and Republican parties in an attempt to limit THC potency. As the legal cannabis market grows, these proposals are likely to increase. Congressional lawmakers have also expressed their concerns over the increasing potency of the plant.  As recently as March, co-chairs of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control argued that federal agencies should consider recommending THC caps.

Supporters of the proposals argue that they exist to protect consumers from unknowingly using highly potent products. Another concern is that children and young adults may have access to increasingly strong products.

What the Industry Has to Say

This may seem like a convincing argument; however, industry professionals argue that the societal reluctance to accept marijuana and outdated beliefs are behind the movement. Advocates state that cannabis should be regulated like alcohol, with state regulators supervising and ensuring that products remain safe. Additionally, they claim that limiting the potency of products may cause consumers accustomed to products with high potency levels to turn to the black market.

With potency now being driven by politics, it isn’t easy to know who to trust.  According to Colorado speaker Alec Garnett, the disconnect between state and federal laws makes it challenging to gather accurate scientific data about the effects of high-THC products. Lawmakers with good intentions may actually be damaging their cause.

What the Future Holds

Currently, it looks like the efforts to limit THC percentages in cannabis products aren’t going anywhere, and the cannabis industry is expected to double in size in the next few years. Government bodies are reluctant to risk crippling an industry that could offer the economy the boost it so desperately needs after a difficult two years. Despite this, the efforts by advocates and lawmakers are likely to continue and increase as the industry gains mainstream popularity.

With the potency of cannabis products currently controlled by politics, the only way to be sure of the potency of your products is by performing in-house testing. Rather than risking unpleasant surprises, you can know exactly what you’re ingesting or selling to your customers with GemmaCert’s potency testing device.