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Inflated THC Levels, Price Gouging Would Be Banned Under California Bill

AB 1610 would create transparency and tackle inflated THC levels, which leads to price gouging.


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Enormous pressure to inflate THC levels falls upon cultivators, manufacturers, and labs. And when THC levels are inflated, it creates unrealistic expectations for higher numbers, and it erodes trust in the integrity of the industry.

One California lawmaker has a solution: On March 15, Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) introduced Assembly Bill 1610, which he calls the “weed-out-the-weed” bill to create greater transparency in cannabis testing and help eliminate fraud in the legal markets.

“As consumers, we all want to know that what we purchase is safe, legal, and tested. This is why I introduced AB 1610,” said Assembly member Jones-Sawyer. “As the cannabis industry continues to grow in California my bill will help protect consumers and maintain high quality cannabis products.”

SC Labs is sponsoring AB 1610 because it would improve transparency in the market by allowing or requiring in-person lab audits, randomized product shelf testing to ensure cannabis labels are accurate, and blind proficiency testing of labs.

“SC Labs is supporting this bill because without greater engagement from the state, there is no way to hold bad actors accountable,” says SC Labs Chief Compliance Officer Josh Wurzer. “Under the current system, bad actor labs and brands profit over companies that are working hard to follow the rules.”

Wurzer continues, “We want the legalized market to thrive, as it’s come under a lot of pressure recently from reduced prices and the persistence of illicit markets. Greater trust and transparency in legalized products will boost consumer confidence, ensure public safety, and strengthen the legal markets.” The proposed reforms in the bill are common sense measures, Wurzer says, that will strengthen existing laws and give regulators the tools they need to stamp out fraud. That includes:

  • Requiring blind proficiency testing so that labs are tested on their accuracy within their normal course of business

  • Requiring all past recalls to be publicly shared online for consumers to access easily

  • Requiring in-person annual audits of laboratories (many of the labs operating in California have been operating on provisional licenses and have yet to be inspected in person. This is something other states regularly do to ensure accountability)

  • Allowing for the randomized testing of products available for retail sale to identify inconsistencies in testing

Wholesale prices for distillate are determined by THC content, and consumers favor flower for the same reasons. Companies “lab shop” to get the highest THC levels possible. What’s really happening is consumers are getting gouged for prices when they think they’re getting a higher amount of THC than what is really in their product.

Just how rampant is it? A few labs that were fed up with rampant potency in