Cannabis Law Prof Blog

Editor: Franklin G. Snyder
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Is "High Grade" Marijuana Actually Getting Recreational Users Higher?

AaaRequired package labeling on recreational marijuana may not be as helpful and accurate as it appears.  Looking at the scene in Alaska, Lauren Andrews of the Anchorage Daily News reports that recreational consumers' love for "Top Shelf" marijuana (strains that boast a higher THC content than cheaper strains) spurred questions about the legitimacy of the package labeling Alaskan marijuana.

There is relatively little regulation of labels in the state.  Andrews explains that although the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Board director concluded in January that the only two testing labs in the state were coming up with different results on the same strains, "the public's interest in marijuana with 20 percent THC shows no sign of slowing down."

This is especially shocking, says Andrews, considering that the price difference between proposed "high" and "low" grade marijuana can be as much as $8 per gram, according to executive vice president of Great Northern Cannabis, Jordan Huss. 

The article goes on to explains the ramifications of this "Top Shelf" phenomenon may include bankruptcy for suppliers that cannot afford to keep up with the large companies that create these purportedly extra-potent strains. "It's real nonsense, but it's driving the cost, and it's going to drive people out of business" according to Jessica Alexander, lab director at The New Frontier Research. 

 --Kylee Debler

Drug Policy, Recreational Marijuana, State Regulation | Permalink


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