Why Some Regulation on The Cannabis Market Is Necessary
Over the years I have heard virtually every argument in favor and against the legalization of cannabis. Today we’re talking about why some advocates of cannabis don’t want legalization but rather have a model where everyone can do whatever they want with cannabis – Like tomatoes.
We hear the phrase “Regulate cannabis like a vegetable” often when speaking with pro cannabis supporters. While I wholeheartedly agree with them in terms of personal consumption and cultivation, I do believe some regulation is required when we’re talking about “commercial cannabis”.
What do we mean by commercial cannabis?
For starters, I think anyone should be able to grow cannabis at their homes without a limit to how much cannabis. In this sense, regulate it like tomatoes! If you’re not going to give that cannabis to the public through the market, then you should have no limit on how much you can grow at home for personal consumption.
Of course, the other side of the argument dictates that if we allow people to grow an unlimited amount of cannabis, what’s to stop them from making money from it and selling it on the “grey market”?
The anarchist in me says, “Let them sell to whoever they want as long as it is consensual” while the other part of me knows that there will be some douchebags that will sell to kids and in turn taint the good name of cannabis.
In that case, I would still argue to allow people to grow unlimited amounts of cannabis at home, but provide stiff penalties for those who engage in selling to minors and the likes. Create a framework where as much liberty is permitted, however stepping outside of the bounds of thus said liberty will receive heavy penalization.
Now, of course, when I’m talking about legalization I’m not talking about this previous scenario but rather the public marketplace. This includes, stores, shops, dispensaries, restaurant’s and the likes.
This is the commercial marketplace and in this sense I do believe that some government regulation is required.
Why is some government regulation required in the commercial market?
As with food (including tomatoes), people will physically consume the product. This means that there needs to be a standard in terms of what we allow within the commercial market and not. For instance, you won’t be purchasing tomatoes that has mold on it, in fact, it wouldn’t even be permitted in a store.
For the very same reason cannabis requires this kind of regulation. I’m not advocating unreasonable regulation such as “selling X number of yards from a school” especially since those rules don’t apply to tobacco nor alcohol. Rather, I’m looking towards the quality of the product, proper labeling on the packages, quality of production control and so forth.
This is very important as most cannabis consumers wouldn’t know if there is mold on their cannabis or not. Moldy cannabis can be hazardous to ones health and despite the fact that we as humans breathe in spores on a daily basis, we need to keep that limited on the things we consume.
Similarly, when it comes to concentrates, we need to have a standard for purging quality prior to hitting the markets. As consumers, we don’t have the tools or expertise to understand whether or not a batch of concentrates were properly purged or not. And trust me, there is no health benefits from inhaling butane.
For this reason, when we’re talking about the commercial market we definitely need some oversight. We can’t simply allow growers, producers and the likes to simply put any product on the shelves. Of course, government regulation usually comes with a lot of negatives as well, however if we limit the regulation and provide clear rules of engagement, I believe it will not only elevate the legitimacy of the cannabis market, but it will also protect consumers in the process.
The Right Amount of Regulation
Now, let’s talk about government efficiency for a while. We have seen the government regulate industries and ruin it. The bureaucratic process often times makes products more expensive and doesn’t do a fantastic job at protecting the consumer. We can just look at the food industry of what is allowed and what isn’t allowed in our foods.
The problem with government regulators is that they become stagnant, they don’t innovate and hardly stay current when it comes with the rest of the world.
By utilizing the data we have generated since Colorado and Washington first became legal recreational states, we can create a standardized regulatory process that can be applied nationwide. It doesn’t have to be extensive as currently being implemented, but there needs to be certain “checkpoints” along the way.
Testing for mold, pesticides, proper labeling of products are all good things. The tracking from seed to sale…not so much.
The question I have for you folks is;
“What is the Right Amount of Regulation for a functional Cannabis Market?”
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