thc potency wars
thc potency wars

Potency Wars - Mainstream Media's New Battlefront in Marijuana Legalization

Mainstream media's narrative that THC levels need to be capped is misguided and ill-informed.

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Wednesday May 5, 2021

The Potency Wars and Other Reasons Why Non-Tokers Should Not Be Making All the Rules.

thc potency wars

It’s not the first time I have written about this topic and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be the last. There’s a new war brooding within the cannabis industry and it’s not about legality anymore.


It’s solely about potency!


Some lawmakers – people who obviously have never smoked cannabis and are proud of that fact – are pushing really hard to limit THC potency in legal products because of “reasons”.


Don’t worry, I’ll get into those reasons a bit further down – but these lawmakers believe that they are doing a “service to society”.


I’ll also be making a short list of the politicians that are at the forefront of this movement with the hopes of “if you’re in their area of representation” to:


  1. Call them up and bitch about their asinine ideology using the reasoning within this article.

  2. Not vote for them or vote for someone who isn’t stuck on this ideology


You see, cannabis is the “will of the people” and the government has worked relentlessly to stifle that will. Now that they can’t put the genie back into the bottle – they are trying to “regulate it to death”.


Unfortunately, their over-regulation has only driven consumers to the black market, which is counterproductive to the entire legalization effort.


For now, let’s take a closer look at the issue at hand.


Why are Politicians Trying to Cap THC?


Officially – because “safety”. They are looking at shaky scientific studies that take small sample groups and place “highly modified conditions” to prove their points.


These studies are primarily funded with the idea of “finding the negative aspects of cannabis.” You can read this piece by Jessica Mkceil that sums up this fact quite nicely. Read the article here.


Rep. Lauren Davis, a member of the House of Representatives in Washington State is one of these lawmakers that are “working” on capping THC.


“I don't think anyone conceptualized what would happen when ... industry and science and business and the motivation of profit come into the state of Washington,” she said.  Source


Fortunately, the industry pushed back and as of now none of these issues have come to pass, except in one state where Flower was capped at 30% and concentrates at 60%.


Who are some of the politicians trying to do this?


We already mentioned Rep. Laura Davis, but here’s a few more.


Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) both are urging Congress to cap THC nationally. State Rep. Yadira Caraveo from Colorado also wants to Cap THC.


In Florida we’ve got Sen. Ray Rodrigues and Rep. Spencer Roach.


I’m sure there’s more of them out there, but this is just the tip of the iceberg, the most vocal of the bunch. If you find any other representative that aims to limit THC, please reach out to me @reginaldreefer on twitter and I’ll be sure to add them to this list.


In  fact, if I can get a complete list, I’d like to make a dedicated article on them…so come on, help me out.


While Politicians are Debating these issues – what do consumers think?


In order to gauge the pulse of the market, I headed over to Reddit to see what the users had to say.


Here’s a few snippets:


It should be available in a variety of different strengths so people can choose what they want to consume. We sell alcohol at proofs from near beer 0.5% to everclear at 190 proof, there is no reason weed should be different.


The important thing is clear labeling which neither exaggerates the potency nor glorifies it.

 – r/kodemage


This is a valid point. We’re not seeing the same level of scrutiny in terms of “potency of alcohol” and considering that alcohol is involved in 40% of all violent crimes [source] yet we see absolutely no attempt to cap alcohol levels.


I mean, if all alcohol was .1% how much violent crime would we reduce? Oh, that sounds idiotic? That’s because it is!


Here’s another Redditor weighing in:


I swear these mother fucking politicians cant get their hands off the controls. Legalize it and leave it the fuck alone. Let other regulating bodies mandate clear labeling and quality assurance. Quit trying to stack laws on stuff that people can make their own choices about.




Overregulation will undoubtedly drive consumers who seek hour high-potency pot back into the black market.


And if we consider that happen with the Vaping Illness of 2019, this would actually be ‘more detrimental’ to users than having it available in the marketplace where safety and quality assurance is a thing.


Anyone can take butane and extract cannabis oils – the problem is that not everyone can do it safely. The mere fact that capping THC would immediately create more DIY Extraction Facilities in urban areas is a recipe for disaster.


But of course, the politicians thinking about capping cannabis don’t think like cannabis users – and thus, cannot plan for these unforeseen consequences.


Why Politicians who have never smoked shouldn’t be making the rules


I’m not saying that the cannabis market should be regulated by stoners – that would be a bad idea. However, politicians who have never consumed should not be making unilateral decisions for consumers without having the input from the consumers themselves.


Most of these politicians are talking to “health experts” who are concerned about public health. From this perspective, their cause is noble.


The problem is that it also isn’t an accurate portrayel of real life.


When researchers are looking for pathological side effects from whatever they are researching, they’ll solely be focusing on the negative manifestations of their hypothesis.


They are not looking at the data within the population of cannabis consumers. They are always comparing it with society as a whole.


Then, based on this information, they conclude – “well we have to protect X, Y or Z from this ill!”


Yet if they were to only look at the data within the cannabis community they’d realize that the vast majority of consumers self-regulate. There are the exception, but most people already consume moderately without the need for a cap on THC.


Yet outright capping THC means:


  1. Stopping the push to see how much THC a plant can actually produce

  2. Stopping innovation

  3. Limiting freedom of choice for adults

  4. Creating a highly lucrative black market pocket

  5. Making High THC products more dangerous for consumers.


If politicians would ever simply consult cannabis users on these issues, they’ll realize that their concerns are for a very small portion of the population – and that more regulation actually makes things more dangerous.








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