What would data-driven policy suggest regarding THC cannabis concentrate caps in Vermont and Quebec? The Rutland Herald commentary opened with this question. (THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces the high sensation.)
After briefly outlining the data on the negative effects of high-THC concentrates in Colorado and other states where cannabis was originally legalized without THC caps, the commentary addresses a common rationale for removing the caps — the illegal drug market.
While controlling the illicit market is cited as a reason to lift the Vermont THC caps, there is no convincing evidence that lifting the THC caps will decrease the illicit market on the products.
Where there are no caps, like California and Colorado, the illicit market has increased.
In Quebec, high THC concentrates are capped, and the use of prohibited (illicit) products like high THC concentrates is lower as compared to neighboring Canadian provinces without THC concentrates caps. This is logical. With a high THC cap, these products are not produced legally to then be diverted to the illegal market and they are not promoted as safe through legal advertising to the public age 21 and older.
The answer to the question is clear: Data-driven policy suggests THC caps are necessary to protect public health and safety.
This 20-minute video provides more information on lessons learned about high-concentrate THC.
The commentary was submitted by Dr. Catherine Antley, a Burlington physician and member of the Vermont Medical Society.