What: Public hearing for House Bill 1463—Addressing serious mental health consequences of high-potency cannabis products by regulating the sale of cannabis concentrates.
When: Friday, February 12 at 10am
Where: House Commerce and Gaming Committee livestreamed here.
- Rep. Lauren Davis (prime sponsor);
- Dr. Avanti Bergquist, Washington State Psychiatric Association;
- Dr. Beth Ebel, Professor of Pediatrics and attending physician, Seattle Children’s Hospital & UW Medicine;
- Parents whose children have been impacted by serious health consequences from high potency cannabis products.
About HB 1463
HB 1463 would protect public health and safety by limiting the potency of cannabis concentrates and raising the age of purchase for cannabis concentrates. High-potency cannabis products with THC concentration of nearly 100% are widely available in Washington’s legal market. While state law limits edible cannabis products to ten percent potency and cannabis flower is biologically limited to about 30% potency, there is no limit on the potency of cannabis concentrates like THC-infused vape oils, shatter and dab wax. Prior to legalization, these high-potency products did not exist or were not widely available. By 2019, their share of the legal market grew to nearly 40% of total sales of cannabis products.
Prominent researchers at the University of Washington and Washington State University have been warning about the consequences of high-potency cannabis products, but the state has not listened. These researchers caution that high-potency products increase the chance of developing cannabis addiction and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. Despite the overwhelming literature on the subject and a recent consensus statement on the dangers of high potency products, which summarized the best available peer reviewed studies, the cannabis industry has continued to deny the science.
The Committee will hear from medical experts and parents of youths who died from medical and psychological harm caused by high-potency cannabis products.
Rep. Davis recently authored this op-ed urging the legislature to listen to the science on cannabis concentrates.