To mitigate the risks linked with vaping products purchased from the illicit markets, hundreds of leaders in the cannabis industry have signed a the letter for the descheduling of marijuana by Congress.
The letter is to be delivered on Thursday to the House and Senate leadership. The letter argues that the recent increases in injuries and deaths related to vaping are because there are no federal regulations on the sale and use of marijuana because marijuana remains to be a federally controlled substance. The injuries and death are a result of people using adulterated and unregulated weed.
The letter states that any death due to marijuana is one too many in the legal state-regulated marijuana industry. Therefore, to curb the illicit market and prevent future risks, the cannabis industry has to employ tools such as uniformity and good manufacturing practices.
The government should provide consumers with accurate and actionable information on the status of the illegal, untested, and dangerous marijuana products in the markets argued NCIA and its co-signers, who include companies such as Weedmaps, Berkeley Patients Group, SPARC, Leafly, and Vicente Sederberg LLP.
In an interview with a media outlet, the NCIA executive director, Aaron Smith, said that the members of Congress should understand that the failed prohibition policies permitting the continued operation of the unregulated underground market is the leading cause of the increase in the outbreak of vaping related illnesses.
He further stated that the regulation of alcohol at the federal and state level is the reason why there are no alcohol-related illnesses. Therefore, to improve state regulatory systems regarding marijuana and allow for comprehensive research on marijuana as well as limit the illicit market, it is essential for Congress to deschedule and regulate marijuana effectively.
To ensure that the citizens are not exposed to dangerous and untested marijuana products, the letter recommends the adoption of five policies.
First, the removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and start regulating marijuana in a sensible manner similar to that of alcohol. Moreover, make funds available for investigation of the illnesses by medical specialists in the state.
Secondly, to stop production of vaping equipment installed with thickening agents. The manufacturers should issue a recall of any vaping product that has Vitamin E acetate. Furthermore, licensed retailers should countercheck their stock to make sure they have no products containing Vitamin E acetate.
Thirdly, cannabis consumers should stop using vape cartridges obtained from illegal markets and cease future purchases of any vaping cartridges or products.
NCIA said that the other problem facing the industry is the federal regulations that prohibit legal marijuana businesses from forcing black market operators out of business. NCIA also added that the illicit activities would be disrupted and most probably removed from the markets by legitimate weed businesses if marijuana was removed from Controlled Substances Act.
According to Smith, the NCIA is ready to help the lawmakers and regulators ensure the safety of marijuana consumers. Industry analysts are of the view that companies like Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP) and Marijuana Company of America Inc. (OTCQB: MCOA) long for the day when the federal government finally acts on all the calls that have been made to reschedule marijuana.
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