The Vermont Medical Society (VMS) last month adopted a resolution calling for a 15% THC limit on adult-use cannabis products in the state. The VMS Board said that the state “has the nation’s highest past-month cannabis use, including use of high potency (greater than 15%) THC” and noted that the Vermont Department of Health said last year that cannabis use “is a significant public health problem in Vermont and it is getting worse.”
The resolution amends and replaces the board’s 2018 resolution which opposed legalized cannabis for adults. The society represents 2,400 physicians and physician assistants throughout the state.
The board cites several studies that suggest using cannabis with THC levels higher than 15% “is associated with increased urgent and emergency department psychiatric visits and increased mental health disorders including psychosis.” The resolution also points to one study, published in 2019, that found using high-THC products “is associated with increased urgent and emergency department non-psychiatric visits, including respiratory distress, often associated with overcrowding and overutilization of emergency room facilities.”
“VMS strongly opposes the advertising, marketing and promotion of cannabis in the state of Vermont (including through the use of packaging, flavorings and placement/density of retail locations) in order to disincentivize establishments from pushing sales through fostering high use and addiction, given that 80% of product will be consumed by 20% or less of users (notably those with current or future dependence or addiction to cannabis).” — Vermont Media Society, VMS Position on Commercialized Sales of Cannabis, Nov. 17, 2021
The board is calling for cannabis packaging and advertising to include warnings about psychosis, impaired driving, addiction, suicide attempt, uncontrollable vomiting, and harm to fetuses or nursing babies.
Adult-use cannabis sales are expected to launch in Vermont in October 2022. The state legalized cannabis for adults in 2018 but the reforms did not include commercial sales.
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