June Newsletter: Legislative update & new startling research

Dear Champion,

Happy summer! We’d like to share a few updates with you. As you know, Colorado is considered by many to be the nation’s leader in marijuana regulations. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done for more public awareness about today’s THC products and robust guardrails.  We are just getting started and are here to assist you and your community!

Our team from One Chance continues to sound the alarm with parents, policymakers, regulators and collaboration partners and offer data-driven solutions with our singular focus of protecting youth from harm in mind.  

As more and more states decide to legalize and commercialize marijuana, please consider One Chance a trusted resource for helping set up guardrails and public awareness campaigns.  Our experience has proven that the work to protect kids begins after the vote.

2023 Colorado Legislative Session

We’d like to share a brief wrap-up of the Colorado legislative session, where One Chance once again had boots on the ground, creating a major impact with bills that were both passed and bills that were killed. These include:

SB23-271: (PASSED)

  • SB23-271 required more robust regulation for THC products derived from the hemp plant including banning the sale of certain intoxicating derivatives of THC including Delta 10 and Delta 8 products. One Chance’s overarching goal was to limit the amount of THC sold outside of the regulated marijuana dispensary model to prevent underage access.
  • We thank Senator Dylan Roberts, Senator Van Winkle and Representative Judy Amabile for their willingness to stand up for kids.
  • One Chance worked to implement this goal by reducing the amount of THC per serving and allowed servings per packaging, requiring a 21 and over age limit on certain hemp products, key labeling requirements as well as requiring rules that will prohibit the export of a safe harbor hemp product in other states where it is illegal.  

HB23-1279: (PASSED)

  • HB23-1279 allows for marijuana to be paid for by the purchaser with online payment while requiring in-store pick-up.  We worked to ensure protocols for age compliance checks and health & safety warnings are proactively provided at the time of online transactions.

HB23-1020: (KILLED)

  • HB23-1020 attempted to expand marijuana delivery.  According to the Colorado Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, nearly 2% of high school students who reported using marijuana in the previous thirty days obtained their marijuana from a delivery service. The data suggested that it was not the time for the legislature to expand delivery. 

SB23-81: (KILLED)

  • SB23-81 attempted to roll back hard-fought protections achieved in 2021 by HB21-1317 to prevent youth diversion via regulatory gaps in the medical marijuana program and excessive limits of marijuana concentrate that could be purchased  These protections have resulted in a 54% drop in the number of 18-20-year olds that have a medical marijuana license.

We are immensely grateful for those who helped us during this legislative session by providing testimony and professional advice and creating positive outcomes for Colorado kids!

Co-Founder's Dynamic OpEd

One Chance’s chairman and co-founder Doug Robinson’s powerful Op-Ed was recently published in the Colorado Sun. Doug shares that the University of Colorado School of Public Health “essentially punted with its bland report,” which disappointingly could not come to strong conclusions about the effects of high-potency THC. 

The Op-Ed argues that the report’s “mildly worded caution” ignores the deep pain and loss felt by Colorado families every day as a result of dangerous high-potency THC.

Spanish Language Campaign Success!

Last month, One Chance created a Spanish toolkit with a set of resources for our Spanish-speaking community members, in addition to running a series of social posts in Spanish. In total, we had 8 translated resources plus the toolkit, all of which can be found on the Spanish language section of our website. The social media posts garnered over 800 impressions total, and we are thankful to our community partners who shared our resources. We’re looking forward to sharing more translated educational resources in the future.

New research: THC and adverse mental health & life outcomes

Finally, we’d like to share some recent studies regarding the deeply concerning mental health effects of marijuana on young brains.

According to a Columbia University study, recreational pot use in teens is associated with increased depression and increased suicidal thoughts. It’s also associated with higher levels of truancy and trouble with the law, and lower grade point averages. Even casual recreational cannabis use poses a risk for adverse mental health and life outcomes, keeping kids from reaching their full potential.  

The study also stated that teens who use cannabis recreationally are 2-4 times more likely to develop psychiatric disorders, such as depression and suicidality, than teens who don’t use cannabis at all.

Another groundbreaking study, published in Psychological Medicine, reviewed health records data spanning 5 decades and representing over 6 million people in Denmark to estimate the number of schizophrenia cases that could be attributed to cannabis use disorder. Researchers found strong evidence of an association between cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia among men and women, though the association was much stronger among young men. The study estimated that as many as 30% of cases of schizophrenia among men aged 21-30 might have been prevented by averting cannabis use disorder. Read the National Institutes of Health summary of the study HERE.

We continue to work on in-depth education on intoxicating hemp products and how to help navigate this emerging and rapidly changing landscape. Look for the field research that we have conducted on hemp products to be added to THC Photos later this summer. 

Now in our eleventh year, we are here to help you in any of your efforts. You can find policy and educational resources on our website or please reach out with specific questions. Consider One Chance YOUR wingman in these conversations and efforts in your community.

Please follow One Chance’s new blog and check out our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts for updates, news, current research, and education surrounding today’s high-potency marijuana products and protections needed for kids. Please know we are incredibly grateful for you- we can’t do it without your engagement and financial support. 

Thank you,

Your One Chance to Grow Up team