Peace Naturals Project Inc. has been forced to recall two batches of marijuana the Canadian government has now called too potent. The company had labelled its marijuana as containing a concentration of 9.07% of THC. When inspected by Canadian inspectors, however, the marijuana was found to contain THC levels as high as 13.7%.
This is the fourth recall by Health Canada. In the past it has issued recalls for both content quality and production practices.
The issue of potency of specific strains of marijuana is an issue that has not found much traction south of the Canadian border – yet. That said, it could easily become a political hot potato as more and more states are forced to integrate marijuana reform by voter mandate. Last year, the sudden intense focus on the increased potency of particularly hydro grown crops was overtaken by the regulation of edibles. This year, however, with two “smoke free” state markets (Minnesota and New York) moving towards implementation of new medical use laws as well as seed and strain control beginning to take an ominous place in regulations (see Washington State and New York again), it is likely that this is a debate that will begin to play in the U.S. as well.
Across the U.S. last year, the issue of THC potency was also discussed within the context of political compromises over legalization of the different cannabinoids in the plant. Many southern legislatures, in particular, including Florida, also debated whether to legalize all cannabinoids or just the lower THC strains and products containing more CBD.
For this reasons, the focus on the drug potency north of the American border could easily become a major focus of attention this year as a specific issue in all states where there is beginning to be the beginnings of a major legal pushback against reform.
In the third week of February, a Washington D.C. based group announced the second round of lawsuits against Colorado state recreational law. The first came at the beginning of the year when two states (Nebraska and Oklahoma) decided to try to sue the state under the Supremacy Act to block implementation of state law in a third state. The Supremacy Act essentially says that the states cannot override federal decision in issues affecting external foreign policy and national commitments. It is unclear whether the Supreme Court will even agree to hear the case.
For now, however, the focus on strain strength has remained north of the border.