Allowing excessive efficiency merchandise, fruit flavored and candy-like merchandise designed to appeal to youth, aggressive advertising and marketing, and a scarcity of correct info has led to a market that fails to defend younger folks from marijuana well being dangers, says JAMA Network Open research
Oakland, CA- A research revealed at the moment by Public Health Institute (PHI) researchers within the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open finds that few of California’s cities or counties that had legalized marijuana gross sales in 2018 had adopted primary classes from tobacco management successes to scale back demand, restrict hurt or stop youth use. The complete research of all 539 cities and counties, “Assessment of Incorporation of Lessons From Tobacco Control in City and County Laws Regulating Legal Marijuana in California,” discovered that solely eight jurisdictions had enacted any hashish product restrictions. None restricted product efficiency and just one was proscribing flavored merchandise within the first yr of authorized hashish gross sales.
Decades of proof present that aggressive promoting, advertising and marketing of flavored merchandise, and manipulating ranges of addictive components had been key tobacco business ways used to recruit and hook customers, particularly younger folks. These ways have been reproduced by the hashish business. Youth use of marijuana nationally has been on the rise: the quantity of twelfth graders who reported vaping marijuana up to now 30 days elevated from 5% in 2017 to 14% in 2019, with 3.5% of them vaping close to day by day. Young folks, together with these up to age 25 whose brains are nonetheless growing, are particularly in danger from hashish use, with rising proof on the dangers of lasting results on psychological well being and youth cognition.
Despite these issues, the PHI research, supported by the California Tobacco Related Disease Research program (TRDRP), discovered that state and native guidelines in California proceed to permit hashish companies to use ways which can be extensively regulated or banned for tobacco:
- Flavored hashish merchandise meant for smoking or vaping, together with fruit flavored vaping merchandise and pre-rolled joints, are nonetheless allowed to be offered all through the state. While gross sales of flavored tobacco merchandise are banned or restricted in additional than seventy California cities or counties, the PHI research discovered that state and native legislation continues to permit flavored hashish merchandise. Only one jurisdiction, Contra Costa County, prohibits flavored hashish merchandise for smoking or vaping. Three jurisdictions have banned cannapops, cannabis-infused drinks (like orange soda), however nonetheless permit different flavored merchandise.
- No metropolis or nation in California has enacted any restrict on hashish product efficiency past state necessities. The tobacco business tactic of manipulating nicotine ranges to improve dependancy and gross sales is well-known, but state hashish legislation solely regulates the quantity of THC in edibles. No jurisdiction limits efficiency, although Cathedral City has enacted a tax on increased efficiency merchandise. The hashish business has massively elevated hashish product efficiency over the previous thirty years, with some merchandise exceeding 90% focus of THC, creating the next threat of psychosis and dependancy.
- Most areas (53%) in California permitting hashish gross sales haven’t any native hashish taxes: 41% have a normal tax, and simply 1% levy a particular tax directing hashish revenues to particular native makes use of. Tobacco taxes have confirmed to be one of the best methods to scale back use, particularly amongst youth, and have been efficiently used to fund tobacco schooling and management efforts.
- 63% of jurisdictions permitting retail hashish storefronts did place limits on the quantity allowed, on common, permitting 1 dispensary for each 19,058 residents.
“While promising examples of local innovation are emerging, our study shows that California state and many local governments have allowed the cannabis industry to adopt the same tactics that made tobacco a public health menace,” stated Lynn Silver, lead writer of the research and a senior adviser with the Public Health Institute. “We need far more cautious rules to fulfill our collective responsibility to protect young people. It is critical to move quickly to get marijuana regulations right from the start and assure that a legal industry is also truly a safer industry.”
The research exhibits that jurisdictions in California had been polarized, both banning hashish commerce altogether or following lax state regulation with out prioritizing public well being: 49%, which coated 57% of the state’s inhabitants, allowed some type of authorized marijuana gross sales and 38% allowed the sale of adult-use hashish merchandise. Some localities have adopted sure different rules, together with 23 areas that require well being warnings in shops and 4 requiring stronger bundle warnings than the state’s weak warning in onerous to learn 6 level kind. Forty two jurisdictions elevated the state mandated buffer zone between hashish sellers and faculties, and greater than 100 added sure institutions, resembling recreation facilities and libraries, to the state’s record of “sensitive use sites” from which sellers have to be distanced. But six lowered the space to faculties to a median of lower than a block. Only 5 adopted any provisions for fairness in licensing or hiring.
In 2017, PHI developed and revealed mannequin native ordinances for the regulation and taxation of hashish in California. Based on these fashions and this present research, PHI recommends that if a jurisdiction opts to legalize the sale of hashish, it ought to undertake extra measures to:
- Limit excessive efficiency merchandise and flavored merchandise recognized to appeal to youth.
- Limit the quantity of dispensaries and never allow supply.
- Provide outstanding and correct well being warnings to inform the general public and restrict advertising and marketing.
- Tax and use tax income for youth schooling and prevention, no more legislation enforcement.
- Promote fairness in licensing, hiring and in well being.
According to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, marijuana use is related to important well being dangers, together with growing psychosis and schizophrenia, dependency, exacerbation of respiratory signs, motorized vehicle collisions, and low birthweight infants. In 2019, the CDC concluded that hashish vaping merchandise had been concerned most often of an outbreak of lung damage that triggered greater than 2,800 hospitalizations and at the very least 68 deaths, demonstrating the risks of permitting proliferation of new merchandise with out ample analysis of security. Mental well being points are additionally a key concern: as well as to hyperlinks with psychosis and schizophrenia, a 2014 EU research discovered that marijuana was the main drug utilized by shoppers getting into drug remedy, representing 46% of all new shoppers, up from 29% in 2003.
Contact: Charles Margulis, Public Health Institute, 510-560-3657 (cell)