Recently there has been a health scare with certain THC and nicotine infused vape products across the country. These have mostly been identified as black market products that were unregulated, however the investigation is still ongoing. Unregulated markets, or “black markets” are exactly that- not regulated. There is no group taking safety into consideration and therefore, there is no guaranteed way to ensure black market products are safe for consumption.
Regulation in the cannabis market means that dispensaries and cannabis brands are responsible for any product that they ship out to customers and making sure that every cannabis product sold is much safer than the black-market alternative. State regulations are not a way to unnecessarily police the market or make processes more difficult; they are purely in place to ensure that manufacturers are held to a safety standard approved by the State and there are no unnecessary or unknown health risks associated with cannabis consumption.
Since the prohibition of alcohol in the United States, there has been a debate on whether or not to legalize and regulate certain recreationally used substances for the benefit society at large. Many believe that drugs of all kinds need to be outlawed, while others argue that people are going to consume them anyway, therefore we should regulate and tax them for the benefit of society. The United State citizens are witnessing an experiment on this debate play out on the national stage when it comes to the cannabis legalization. State by State, we are witnessing the benefits of taking cannabis out of the black market, and into the regulated space. The recent tragic and still developing news regarding health issues and even death related to cannabis and nicotine vapes shines a new light on this discussion.
We are heartbroken to hear about the illness and death of members of our communities. In an effort to avoid more tragedy and assist in educating the public to be safer, we would like to take a moment to touch on a few reasons why we believe that participating in a well-regulated market helps keep people safer than having no legal market to access:
It is the government’s job to keep the general public safe. To ensure they do this in a legal cannabis market, they’ve created and continue to develop tracking and testing regulations that never existed in the black market. For example, they track every product back to its original manufacturer to ensure that if something needed to be pulled from the market and quarantined, then all of that product can be traced back to its source and removed from shelves.
Additionally – they mandate the use of third party laboratories to test for purity and cleanliness of consumable products to and require tamper evident seals on all products sold to the public. Oasis and all other participating entities in our industry strive to follow these standards at all times because we believe that a well-regulated market keeps everyone safer and held to account.
The participation in a legal and well-regulated market allows for accountability. If someone is producing harmful products and allowing them to make it into the hands of the public, the State can trace back where these products originated from and prosecute these entities for their problematic behavior and the risks their product could pose the health and safety of the general public.
Reducing Crime and Creating Jobs:
When there is a financial incentive to illegally manufacture, transport, and sell illegal drugs, more crime occurs. This kind of crime includes break ins/robberies, gang violence and other types of violence, human trafficking and drug trafficking, etc. There is also an incentive to make more profit by producing products that stretch longer. This means that black market drug manufacturers have an incentive to include additives that make their products less pure and safe, with no testing or efficacy standard imposed before they are distributed to members of our community.
Conversely, a legally regulated manufacturer has a financial and legal incentive (and obligation) to do the opposite. Not only do they want to have the best brand and products in the market to appeal to buyers, but they MUST meet certain safety standards dictated by the regulating governing bodies.
Taking the profit incentive away from the black market is necessary to end this crime. Even taking a significant portion of the market share away from the illegal market removes the ability and incentive for these black marketeers to be able to scale their illegal business to affect more of the community. We want the legal market to exist to drown out the necessity for an illegal and unsafe market.
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