More than 800 cannabis companies have signed a letter asking Congress to deschedule marijuana, Marijuana Moment reported Thursday.
The letter submitted to House and Senate leadership Thursday said the vaping situation demands strict federal regulations that are only possible once marijuana is removed from the federal schedule of controlled substances.
The National Cannabis Industry Association was the main driver behind the letter, which also emphasizes that most of the medical issues in question were caused by the use of unregulated products.
“Recent reports of vaping-related illnesses and deaths are alarming and demand an immediate, robust investigation by public health professionals. Make no mistake, the legal state-regulated cannabis industry knows that any death is one death too many. Fortunately, we have policy tools that can be employed to help limit the illicit market, implement uniform good manufacturing practices and prevent future harms, “ the letter said.
"Descheduling cannabis would end many of the federal policies that make it diﬃcult for legal cannabis businesses to eﬀectively compete with illicit operators. Eliminating the undue burdens caused by outdated laws would help ensure that unethical actors are increasingly disrupted by legitimate, responsible businesses,” the companies said.
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Aaron Smith, NCIA’s executive director, told Marijuana Moment that “it is absolutely vital for members of Congress to understand that this vaping illness outbreak is directly tied to failed prohibition policies that support the unregulated underground market.”
No illness outbreaks occur due to tainted alcohol because the substance is regulated at the federal and state levels, and licensed producers have almost entirely replaced bootleggers, he said.
“Descheduling cannabis products and regulating them effectively is essential to improving on successful state regulatory systems, allowing more comprehensive research and displacing the illicit market.”
The letter also outlined several policy recommendations to help consumers stay away from dangerous products, such as advising that licensed vape cartridge producers avoid additive thickening agents, and that those who have been using Vitamin E acetate additive should issue a recall of the products.
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