KnowTHC…Regulation Matters!

March 15, 2023

Dear Champion,

Marijuana regulations and policies lag behind new, innovative, and radically different THC products.  This has left too many consumers and the general public unprotected and misinformed, including those at greatest risk.  Our job as concerned parents, trusted adults, and citizens is to protect infants, children, teens, and young adults.  Regardless of how an individual feels about adult use, the science is sound that there is no known safe amount of THC for kids or pregnant and breastfeeding women.  

Why it matters:

Today’s commercial marijuana industry extracts the primary psychoactive and addictive chemical THC from both the marijuana plant and federally legal hemp to create products that have little in common with the natural form of the plant.  Many products come in kid-friendly forms that include sweet flavors, attractive packaging and branding, and are marketed in ways that appeal to kids.

THC is THC is THC: Delta 8, Delta 9, Delta 10, THC-O, THC-X, THC-B, THC-P, along with other cannabinoids like HHC and PHC are all now widely available and commercially sold across the country as a result of the 2018 farm bill. The list of psychoactive compounds derived from the marijuana plant and federally legal hemp continues to grow at a staggering pace.  These items are so new there is often no research on safety, but the compounds are still being put in edibles and inhalants, then sold for their purported therapeutic benefits or as a way to get high in states where recreational marijuana is not legal. The lack of oversight for these products allows sellers to target our kids through online sales and marketing.

What you need to know:

Robust regulations are critical to protect kids from the harms of all THC products.  Your elected officials and appointed regulators need to be guided by baseline transparency safeguards at the local, state, and federal levels.  This is especially important for newly legalized markets and those looking to legalize so that safeguards are implemented before sales begin.

Urgent Policy Measures are needed:

• Advance youth safeguards in local and national THC transparency legislation. 

  • Prohibit kid-friendly products including flavors
  • Require child-resistant packaging and a THC warning symbol
  • Limit serving size (potency & weight) and amount per package
  • Require health & safety disclosures on packaging and advertising
  • Strictly limit advertising and marketing reaching kids, including outdoor advertising
  • Monitor and report false claims
  • Collect data on youth impacts 
  • Fund robust education to prevent and reduce youth use and to inform pregnant women

• Amend the SAFE Banking Act to add national youth safeguards.  With privileges come responsibilities and the industry should agree to youth safeguards in order to access the nation’s banks and capital markets which will lead to further industry growth. –Read Diane Carlson’s Opinion in the Colorado Sun for more detailsThe marijuana business is doing just fine without national banking legislation

• Treat “medical marijuana” more like a medicine.  At a minimum, require recommendations to align with prescriptions and specify THC potency, dosage, product type and intake method.  Close loopholes that allow underage high school and college students to obtain medical marijuana for recreational use by requiring two in-person physician opinions and follow-up visits, and capping the purchase amounts for those under 21.

• Address the urgent need for clarifying language around hemp in the U.S. Farm Bill.  The 2023 Farm Bill’s reauthorization should address the ambiguity and inconsistencies that exist within the hemp industry which has resulted in the sale of additives and products not proven safe.  One Chance is working to help identify these issues as they continue to develop and will support the best safeguards for kids. 

• Ensure policies are guided by the current science.  Provide funding for evidence-based research.  

Please take moment and listen to Whitney’s story of the tragic loss of her beautiful son Sammy during a THC-induced psychotic episode with a warning for all about the deep concerns of marijuana use and mental health. To honor her son, Whitney created The Sammy Project, a traveling photo exhibit destigmatizing mental health and helping the participants take agency over their own struggles.

We are constantly monitoring the situation and on the lookout for unintended consequences. When we saw through the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey that there was an increase in kids buying their marijuana from stores, knowing someone with a medical marijuana card, and dabbing and vaping ultra-potent THC, we helped pass HB 21-1317 to close the loophole that made medical marijuana a pipeline into our high schools.  The implementation of 1317 has reduced the number of 18-20-year-olds that have a medical card by almost 65%.   

Annual reports that were mandated by 1317 are helping us better understand the impacts of legalization. For example, the first Postmortem toxicological Report, which analyzed all non-natural deaths (excluding homicide) for every CO resident under 25 years of age, was released in January 2023.  It found that marijuana is the #1 substance found in non-natural, non-homicide deaths of those under 25 during the 10-year reporting period.

SB 23-081 was introduced this year by industry supporters that would have eroded some of the 1317 provisions. The bill was defeated but we must stay vigilant and push for regulations and legislation that protect our kids.

What you can do:

Who is driving policy in your community?  You can make a difference by engaging with local and state policymakers.  Play a critical role, speak up for kids and demand that lawmakers, the marijuana industry, and regulators work together to protect kids.

  • Log on to your city and state websites to monitor regulations and laws.  
  • Find out who represents you in the local, state and federal government and how to participate at each level.  
  • Sign up to receive notifications for local meetings and agendas.  
  • Make public comments and email your local and state officials when possible. Your voice matters!
  • Be consistent and assertive with your messaging and ask your friends and neighbors to do the same to amplify your voice!
  • Encourage your friends to sign up with One Chance To Grow Up.

Marijuana policy and products are evolving very rapidly.  Unfortunately, many new, radically different, and often kid-friendly products are constantly being introduced and aggressively marketed both within and outside of the regulated markets.  Check out for current updates on today’s available products in states where THC is commercially available. Please visit our website for more information and follow us on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn.  Join the conversation on our new One Chance blog.

Thank you for your care and support in better protecting our kids. 

The One Chance Team