The recent warning about a harmful substance found in a medical marijuana products ought to alarm lawmakers into action to shore up gaps in this budding industry.
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority announced last week that lab vendor Metis detected THC-O-acetate in a a batch of sugar wax after a consumer complaint of bad side effects. That substance is derived through a dangerous process that uses the toxic chemical acetic anhydride.
This developed as a work-around in states without legal marijuana industries. It takes nonintoxicating, legal cannabis plants and adds acetic anhydride to create THC-O-acetate, which is several times the potency of natural THC.
A person ingesting too much THC could be triggered into medical complications including paranoia, anxiety, high heart rate or psychotic symptoms. These are not what legitimate growers, manufacturers or sellers want.
THC-O-acetate isn’t included in any testing regulations under the OMMA, so the product cannot be recalled. Technically, it did not fail required testing.
Industry officials say legislators can fix this problem, and they should.
Oklahoma doesn’t need to invent anything when it comes to marijuana oversight. Many states have developed comprehensive programs that could be replicated.