Pubdate: Sun, 28 Aug 2016
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2016 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Rob Bonta
Note: Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, represents District 18.


Sam Quinones makes an impassioned plea for state regulation of legal 
cannabis potency levels to safeguard children and to protect 
responsible adult cannabis users in his story, "Regulate potency in 
pot before legalizing it" (Forum, Aug. 21).

I agree, and it is exactly why I, along with a bipartisan coalition 
of legislators, authored the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety 
Act, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year and provides 
California's first comprehensive regulations for medical cannabis to 
protect patients, promote public safety and preserve the environment.

Under this legislation, California regulators, including the new 
Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation and the Department of Public 
Health, will require full disclosure of medical cannabis potency and 
have the authority to impose scientifically appropriate limits on the 
potency levels of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products.

It is also one reason why I support Proposition 64, which creates a 
safe and legal regulatory framework for nonmedical cannabis and is 
directly modeled after the medical cannabis safety law  and which 
provides maximum authority for public health and regulatory officials 
to govern the safety and potency of cannabis.

Make no mistake: Under Prop. 64, regulators will have the power to 
impose rigorous conditions on growers and manufacturers of adult use 
cannabis and cannabis products, and enforce limits on their potency. 
In addition, all cannabis and cannabis products must be tested by 
independent laboratories before they are available for purchase, and 
will include labels clearly stating the level of 
tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and other cannabinoids.

The regulations in Prop. 64 will allow adult use of cannabis to be 
regulated like alcohol.

Just as labeling allows consumers to know the difference in potency 
between a wine cooler and whiskey, the regulations in Prop. 64 will 
allow for clear potency limits and labels on cannabis products.

Today's cannabis is more potent than it was a generation ago. As 
Quinones states, these new stronger strains emerged precisely because 
cannabis is unregulated. The solution is not to sit back and hope 
that the multibillion-dollar cannabis industry will govern itself.

It's time to end the failed and costly system of cannabis prohibition 
and empower state regulators and public health officials to develop 
transparent, enforceable regulations that will keep consumers and 
communities safe.

Taken together, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act and 
Proposition 64 will bring comprehensive oversight and clear 
regulations to a broken system.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom