The Vermont Medical Society recently issued recommendations to the Cannabis Control Board banning products containing greater than 15% THC from the Vermont adult-use marketplace. This is not the recommendation of the Board.
The current statutory cap on THC concentration in cannabis flower is 30%. This policy decision was debated by the Vermont legislature and determined to be the appropriate potency limit. Board has no authority to raise this cap and has no intention of lowering it.
The stated purpose of creating Vermont’s adult-use cannabis marketplace is “to move as much of the illegal cannabis market as possible into the regulated market for the purposes of consumer protection and public safety.” While the Board considered the public health concerns raised by the Vermont Medical Society, the CCB must contend with the fact that high THC cannabis makes up majority of products sold in the medical cannabis and illicit marketplaces. Lowering the THC cap to 15% would merely perpetuate the unregulated market and force consumers to purchase untested, potentially contaminated products.
A legalized cannabis marketplace presents an opportunity to begin addressing the harms perpetrated under the decades long war on drugs, as well as create dedicated revenue sources for education, prevention, and afterschool programs. As we have seen with other controlled substances, these investments will likely have a greater impact on reducing the ease of access among our youth and helping our adults make informed decisions about cannabis, than continued prohibition.