In a growing number of states across the country, the prospect of growing and selling marijuana is becoming more and more popular.
But as recreational marijuana use becomes more widespread, lawmakers and industry advocates are turning their attention to the next frontier in legalizing marijuana: THC potency limits.
Vermont happens to be the only state in the nation that has imposed a so-called THC cap.
So, what is a THC potency limit?
To understand that, you must first understand that THC is the main compound responsible for the drug's psychoactive effects. The higher the THC levels, the higher those effects.
“We’re talking about the dilution of the quality of products in the market,” said Geoffrey Pizzutillo, with the Vermont Growers Association.
Proponents of THC limits say it makes legalization safer.
Opponents of potency limits say imposing those restrictions would only push consumers to the black market.
There’s also this: it cost smaller growers a lot more to create products with THC limits.
“It’s just another barrier for entry for small businesses,” explained Pizzutillo.
There’s a reason why these limits are getting so much attention.
Marijuana is turning out to be an incredibly lucrative industry. Last year, in Colorado alone, annual revenue from marijuana sales was well over $2 billion. From that, the state will end up with about $32 million in tax revenue.
Fifteen states nationwide have legalized recreational marijuana, with another 17 states now allowing for the use of medical marijuana. In New Mexico and Virginia, legalization is currently pending.
Now, many in the industry are focusing their attention on state policy.
“It’s an emerging industry because it’s unique,” said Pizzutillo. “Solar panels didn’t exist at one point in time, and now, they exist and now there is regulatory framework unfolding.”