The age-old principle of trade is based on the fact that when you use a dollar to buy something, you get the equivalent value of that dollar. This has not been the case in the cannabis industry of late, where there has been a widespread problem of using manipulated THC results to fool a mostly unsuspecting public with the view of increasing sales.
This recent turn of events has led to three residents of Arkansas filing federal lawsuits against four licensed medical marijuana companies. It is important to note that these are medical marijuana companies whose objectives should be in line with serving the demand of those with legitimate medical conditions. These Arkansas state-based companies have been accused of altering the THC levels as advertised on their labels. These cannabis-related products are especially popular with medical cannabis users.
The Significance Of THC
THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, as it is known by its scientific name, is the primary psychoactive naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. Out of more than 100 other cannabinoids contained in the plant, it is the one responsible for producing the “high” you come to expect from smoking weed. While many do use it for recreational purposes, there are many patients who have come to rely on it for its medicinal benefits.
Cannabinoids operate in pretty much the same way that naturally-occurring chemicals in the body do. The chemicals have an effect on pain, appetite, memory, and movement. Since human beings are usually inclined to pursue pleasure over pain, it has been most helpful in alleviating the issues faced by chronic sufferers. Medical marijuana has been proven to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It has even been known to control the negative nausea-inducing effects caused by chemotherapy.
With mental health issues steadily on the increase, medical marijuana can be helpful in decreasing anxiety. It relaxes tight muscles, kills cancer cells, slows tumor growth, and stimulates appetite to help people with diseases like AIDS to gain weight. The right balance of THC makes all of this possible, but what happens when that balance is misrepresented?
The People Vs The Lie
“Each Plaintiff files this suit to vindicate the federal laws prohibiting the cultivation and sale of marijuana and their rights under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). The fact that each Plaintiff is in “chronic pain and has been prescribed medical marijuana by a physician” is quite possibly the most pertinent part as outlined by the lawsuit. This makes it possible to view the case from two distinct angles.
Given the benefits of medical marijuana and the types of people it is prescribed to, we must believe that it is a necessity for them to function in their daily lives. From a legal and medical angle, regulation allows consumers to obtain the product legally with a doctor’s supervision. From a commercial angle, the consumer is exchanging hard-earned currency for the product.
Taking both of these angles into consideration, one then sees the dark side of capitalism emerge. By consciously exploiting the demand, there are a few bad apples in the licensed medical marijuana market manipulating the supply. By falsely inflating the THC results of products many people have come to depend on – and even worse, incentivizing labs that will alter or manipulate results – they are illegitimately able to increase their bottom line.
Companies like Steep Hill Arkansas, Bold, Osage Cultivation, and Natural State Medicinal are only a small group of companies who were accused of this devious practice. The plaintiffs even alleged that these RICO defendants worked together to accomplish what each of their individual companies could not.
If these allegations prove to be true, then standards for lab testing must be prioritized. Already there may be several medical marijuana cartels operating globally to benefit from the suffering of others.
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