Here's The Good And Bad News About California’s Latest Cannabis Regulation Proposals
It might be time to hoard your edibles.
As more states are climbing aboard the legal marijuana train, the California Department of Health and the newly created Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation have decided to get involved on every imaginable level of the soon-to-be legal recreational market. By working with the CA Department of Food and Agriculture, the three agencies plan to oversee cultivation, distribution, testing, packaging, licensing, fees, and even what kinds and how much legal weed retailers can slang at all.
And while the sound of “new regulations” has some fearing for an industry-wide shakeup, some see the change as another step toward legitimacy for the California weed world. Keep scrolling to see what I mean.
Proposal: Ban edibles that contain caffeine.
Pro: Caffeine, despite conflicting studies, has been shown to be disastrous for your health when consumed in large amounts. For example: Recently a South Carolina teenager died after drinking three highly-caffeinated beverages in the span of two hours. To that end, mixing the stimulant with high-grade, psychoactive cannabis could potentially spell out disaster.
Con: Banning all caffeine from marijuana products doesn’t make a lot of sense when some contain relatively trivial amounts, and if properly labeled, misuse of such a weed speedball could be minimal. LA-based Kiva’s chocolate covered espresso beans, for example, deliver 5mg of THC per bean. And according to the USDA, one coffee bean has about 12mg of caffeine, meaning you’d have to eat about 10 beans to consume the equivalent caffeine as you might find in one cup of coffee. he same way you shouldn’t drink 10 cups of coffee a day, you probably shouldn’t eat a bucket of weed-infused-coffee beans. So, basically, one needn't look too hard to see where regulators might have potential beef with the caffeine/cannabis combo, but its also not difficult to form an argument in opposition of such a ban, citing the beans as a means of normalized consumption.
Proposal: Impose a limit of 10mg of THC per serving.
Pro: We’ve all experienced the living nightmare of ingesting way too much weed by accident. That time a supercharged cookie had me believing everyone on the Bachelor was a lizard person is enough to make me support imposing limits on edible strength. And when it comes to edibles, its easy to overindulge.
Con: Again, this is really a packaging issue more than anything. One of my favorite products in the universe is Lord Jones’ 5mg infused-gummies, which come in a gorgeous box containing nine candies. For me, 5mg of THC in my food might just be the perfect dose. But for highly tolerant weedophiles—and, uh, not to mention cancer patients who actually use cannabis to treat chronic pain and other immensely discomforting symptoms—the limit could create a scenario in which patients will have to eat more of a particular product in order to elicit a result that previously required only one dose to reach.
As Amanda Chicago Lewis puts it so perfectly for the LAist:
“This separately-packaged 10 milligram rule is basically the equivalent of telling tequila makers they have to sell their liquor in two-shot-sized packaging, because adult humans might accidentally pound an entire bottle of Jose Cuervo.”
Proposal: Weed-infused Alcohol Would Be Considered No-Chill
Pro: Why go through such tedious efforts to get cross-faded on some likely nasty tasting weed-shine, when you could just smoke a fat blunt and wash it down with a refreshing pale ale? Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything. When it comes to canna-alcohol, I say good riddance.
Con: But just because I'm not a fan of pot-infused spirits, doesn't mean some consenting adults wouldn't be.
Proposal: No pre-rolled spliffs or blunts either, dammit.
Pro: Pre-rolled blunts don’t really exist anyway, because they’d just be sad, dried-out, stinky, logs of herb, so, like, whatever on that front. And in regard to spliffs, if marijuana and tobacco are separately regulated, taxed, and priced commodities, why should they be sold in the same wrapper, anyway? Besides, it's not like this is Europe, or some film noir, get that spliff out of here! Keep tobacco out of California weed for good!
Con: Better learn how to roll your own.
Proposal: No more free samples.
Pro: Why can't these government types just leave us alone!?!?
Con: The best weed is free weed. And how we will ever be able to try a weedy product before we commit to buying a whole batch? Cruel.
Proposal: Thou shalt not mix weed and dairy.
Pro: Allergy-prone weed enthusiasts will no longer have to worry and wonder if a delicious-looking edible might kill them—so that's good news! For the rest of us who can handle our lactose, letting go of dairy products might not be a bad idea either. According to WebMD, my favorite destination for late-night freak outs, milk consumption has been linked to both prostate and ovarian cancers. So, going dairy-free could actually be clutch.
Con: Cream is a primary ingredient of chocolate—good chocolate, anyway—making this proposal just plain ludicrous. Forget everything I ever said about saving lives.
Proposal: No more turning regular foods into weedy ones.
Pro: This one actually makes a lot of sense in that it prevents fake edible manufacturers from buying regular products in bulk and misting them with hash oil. What you get are unevenly dosed, unappetizing bastardizations of your favorite childhood candies. No thanks.
Con: Lazy posers might have to look for a new hobby. LOOKING AT YOU, FLAMING HOT WEEDOS!
Proposal: Stop people from smelling before they buy.
Pro: This might prevent randos from sniffing weed you’ll ultimately buy... I guess? You'll always know that your weed isn't ruined by a rogue boog.
Con: Forcing dispensary managers to keep a special “display” jar of weed for sniffing will only breed distrust between sellers and consumers. From the buyer’s perspective, there’s no way of knowing the weed in that display jar is from the same strain you’re trying to buy. And if you’re a seller, it’s hard to promote a certain strain’s true dankness if you can’t let customers sniff the real thing. Also, why can’t we just smell the weed? Have you ever smelled weed? It's amazing. I’m not sure what the legal reasoning is behind this one.
Before these proposals become law, you still have a chance to give California officials your two cents on the matter by e-mail, regular mail, or fax. There’s also the old-school option of attending the public hearing in L.A. on June 8. Be there or be bummed come 2019 when all of these proposals pass into law.