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THC says What!?!?!

October 30, 2018

You and I both know that there are things that need fixed from the industry end of the equation just as much as we need to work on regulations and oversight and taxation. And there is one thing that we can do that would seem a no-brainer. And when (if) you would read this, and see what you think of  my ideas, I think you may agree. THC is a problem. It's a blessing and a curse. You want to have a high potency so that there is bang for the buck, you want to provide value for the product, that's just basic economics obviously. If people can get the same level of satisfaction by smoking less of a high THC potency (say 28%) ,then some are going to find that acceptable. But anyone with experience with varieties of cannabis knows that the effect of a product north of say, 22 or 23% THC is going to have a different set of effects than something that has a potency of 12 or 13% THC. I'm not telling you anything you don't know. So why does everyone put so much faith in thinking that THC, and THC alone, is the only measuring stick for what cannabis value is? I think it is time we  work for education of both the industry and the consumer on THC. We need to make sure that the industry is training our consumers to understand that cannabis can be infinitely tailored to the user. 

The push for the highest potency THC is like racing for the the 4 minute mile, or climbing Everest. It's an admirable challenge to attain. But the long term health of the industry is not going to be able to hang our hat on just maxing out the THC percentage of a plant. Do you just buy a bottle of wine because it has the highest alcohol percentage? Buy beer just because it has the highest alcohol content? No and No. Because there are reds, and wheat ales, and chardonnay, and oatmeal stout. Do you just eat spaghetti and tomato sauce, and never bother with lasagna? You get my point. It's not just about THC, and it shouldn't be. 

When you just focus on THC you shorten your playing field. But you also hurt the labs. When you just go to Lab A because they give you an 18% potency rather than Lab B who tests the same product at 17% because they might use a slightly different (but still legitimate) process you cost businesses and run people out of business. It's a self-defeating model.

And let's talk science for a second. The lack of uniformity between labs is something that is being worked on. We all know that in testing the samples need to be uniform, but I would think that if you were asked to provide a uniform sample from a harvest you could provide three samples that would all be within tolerances but have three differing values. All things being equal, it is really incidental.

And I will be the first to tell you that there needs to a better reason than THC to ignore things like how a plant is grown, as in hydroponic vs soil, what the genetics are, terp profiles and fragrance. Let alone what the effects of the strain are. And I'm not even going to get into CBD here.

We need to create a consumer who is informed enough to be able to distinguish and customize their consumption to specific tastes and needs. Cannabis needs to be as diverse as coffee, as nuanced as chocolate, and as accepted as micro-brews.

Cannabis has a lot more to offer than just THC and as our consumer base develops we need to address this issue quickly, or a lot of really talented cultivators and labs are going to be ruined. If we can only sell high THC% numbers, our only market share will be people who only smoke 29.82%THC weed and live on the couch. Friends, this is not a formula for success and industry growth. I have friends who WOULD smoke but every time they go into buy they are sold product with a high THC number. And this is not the cannabis your grandmother was smoking at Woodstock. It puts them off our product when they come back to try to get re-associated with it after a 20 year hiatus. There is room for 3, 7, 12, 14, 23, and 29% THC with varying CBD percentages on your shelves. We are here to help people. I know there are people who are already making the effort to change this. I am writing this post because I have heard from EVERY region that we cover that THC% a problem. 

Bud Tenders are going to play a crucial role in this education process, and like a good counter person in any industry they need to serve the client while preserving the sale. But the Retailers are going to need start the process and the Cultivators are going to need to start providing the variety of product and quality to convince the Retailers it is worth the effort to turn the corner. It sounds difficult but it's the process of the industry maturing and all of us moving toward being responsible for the benefit of each other.


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