When we're talking about edibles, people think there are flowers and there are edibles, but when we begin thinking about non-flower products, we also have to begin thinking about the concentrates and waxes. There can be up to 80% THC in the vape pens. I want to make it very clear that we don't know much about the health consequences. I know a lot of people might be using them, but we really don't know much about the health consequences, either the benefits or the risks of these particular products.
One of the issues you have to consider if you're going to allow for-profit companies to produce and sell these products and you don't put any limits on it is that if, say, in five or 10 years from now you decide maybe you don't necessarily want to allow a certain product or you don't want to allow flavouring in the vape pens, it's a lot harder to crack down on those products once the industry is already in place, and the lobbyists are powerful.
One approach here would be to take it very slowly and maybe not necessarily allow some of these products. Yes, there might be demand for them on the black market, but this is the trade-off that I was talking about in that if your only goal is to reduce the size of the illicit market, you wouldn't have many regulations. You'd want to have the price go as low as possible to drive out all the producers. However, there are some potential public health consequences associated with that in terms of increasing cannabis consumption and also the potential for an increase in cannabis-use disorder. That's the tension there.
For example, if you do limit products, yes, there might still be demand for that in the illicit market, but at least you won't see it in stores or advertised. It's a trade-off. Much of this comes down to people's values and preferences for risk and what their priorities are. If your priority is public health, you'd want to take it very slowly.
With respect a cookie-cutter approach and doing what Colorado did, I would step back and look at what other jurisdictions are doing as well. Colorado had more of a wait-and-see approach, and they don't necessarily allow as many products as are allowed in Washington state. In fact, there is also variation in terms of the amount of THC that can be allowed in a single serving. There are a couple of different states where the limit is at 10 milligrams, and in two other states, the limit is at five milligrams. I don't know if much research has looked at that.
Therefore, I would not necessarily just take what Colorado has done and apply it in Canada. I would look at what has been happening in the other states as well, and take a very slow approach. If you're going to allow for-profit companies to get involved, it's going to be a lot harder to make changes down the line, so take it slowly.