Everyone that works in the cannabis industry in Colorado can take a deep breath of relief because it looks like the battle over pot potency is over, for now. A recent proposal had been gaining traction, with Colorado activists that are against cannabis, which would have decimated the cannabis industry. The proposal had been approved to move on to the signature gathering phase. If they had succeeded in getting the 98,000 signatures they needed, then their Amendment 139 would have made it on the ballot for a vote this November. Thankfully the lawyer representing the activist group has released a statement saying that they will be withdrawing the amendment early this week. This is an undeniable victory for cannabis advocates everywhere, but the activists say this is just the beginning.
The name of the activist group is the Healthy Colorado Coalition. It was a group of citizens that were trying to implement stronger restrictions on the cannabis industry. The main issue here is that they were taking things to a ridiculous extreme. The coalition was aiming to limit pot potency to 16% THC. This is pretty ludicrous when you realize that the average potency of cannabis in Colorado is estimated to be at around 17% THC. It is estimated that nearly 80% of the current cannabis products in Colorado would be taken off the shelf if this amendment had actually gone through. Not only would it have been a massive hit to flower and edible sales, but it would have literally destroyed the hash oil market. There are almost no cannabis concentrates that have less than 50% THC levels, let alone 16. While most of us are probably thinking that this amendment died because any sane person would realize that destroying such a lucrative industry that has contributed millions of dollars in taxes in such a short amount of time is a horrible idea, the activists are claiming that there was a bit of foul play involved.
The Healthy Colorado Coalition is claiming that their decision to withdraw their amendment is not because they heard the will of the people, but rather because cannabis cash talks. The activists are saying that cannabis supporters shelled out enough dough to actually buy off most of the signature gathering firms in Colorado to not work with the proponents of Amendment 139. Of course the signature gathering firms have all fervently denied these accusations and refuse to discuss any business matters regarding their private clients. I personally would like to believe that the lack of interest in signing these petitions has come from the commonsense of the people rather than bribery. Especially when you consider the fact that Amendment 139 was also aiming to require all cannabis to include a warning label that said that cannabis is known to cause permanent and irreversible brain damage. With such little evidence to support that claim and a completely unrealistic potency limitation, it is no surprise that so many people didn’t take this amendment more seriously. The group promises to continue their effort to put some control on the cannabis industry, which is obviously already heavily regulated. Hopefully their future efforts will be met with the same level of resistance that this proposal faced. Today cannabis won a very important battle, but I think it is safe to say that the war is long from over.