More than 800 cannabis industry leaders have signed onto a letter urging Congress to deschedule marijuana to mitigate the risks associated with vaping products obtained on the illicit market.
The clamor continues to grow. The outbreak of respiratory illnesses (and deaths) in the United States was the result of a massive regulatory failure.
Black market products. Poorly regulated additives and manufacturing processes.
How do you address a public safety problem with a (popular) black market product? You legalize the product so that it can be properly regulated.
How do you address a public health issue arising from faulty regulation? Beef-up the regulatory framework.
It’s not rocket science. The Seed Investor reached this obvious conclusion when we first began to cover the health issue surrounding tainted vape pens. So why are we not hearing this from more of the U.S. political leaders, at both the federal and state level?
Instead, what we’re seeing/hearing from many politicians is “vaping bans”. Banning legal vape products goes in the opposite direction. It forces consumers to conduct their commerce in the unregulated black market.
“Make no mistake, the legal state-regulated cannabis industry knows that any death is one death too many,” the letter states. “Fortunately, we have policy tools that can be employed to help limit the illicit market, implement uniform good manufacturing practices and prevent future harms.”
Signees run the gamut in the cannabis industry, from publicly listed companies to cannabis information/advocacy businesses like Leafly.
Aaron Smith, NCIA’s executive director, told Marijuana Moment that “it is absolutely vital for members of Congress to understand that this vaping illness outbreak is directly tied to failed prohibition policies that support the unregulated underground market.”
Clear. Simple. Rational.
The ball is now in Washington’s court.