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California laws regarding health and safety warnings for cannabis have changed: Are you in compliance?

A new California Proposition 65 mandate took effect on January 3, requiring health warning labels for all cannabis products sold in the state.  Failure to comply with the requirements can and will result in enforcement against cannabis producers and sellers, resulting in hefty penalties.  Here’s what you need to know.

Some Background on Proposition 65 and Cannabis

California’s Proposition 65, also known as the “Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986,” requires various parties in the supply chain for consumer products to provide warnings on products they sell in the state if exposure to certain chemicals in those products will pose a significant risk of cancer or reproductive harm. Proposition 65 applies to any company that sells products in California, regardless of whether the business is headquartered or manufactures products in California.

Cannabis (Marijuana) Smoke” was listed under Proposition 65 in 2009 because of the potential that it contains ingredients or emits chemicals known to cause cancer. These chemicals include toxins such as arsenic, benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde, lead, and nickel. In January 2020, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) was added to the list of toxic chemicals under Proposition 65 because of THC’s potential to cause reproductive harm. Now, both THC and Cannabis Smoke are listed under Proposition 65 and require warning labels.

What This Means for You and Your Company

The updated chemical list, which includes THC, became effective January 3, 2021, so the clock to come into compliance is ticking if you are not already complying. Many cannabis companies selling in California already comply with Proposition 65 by including warnings on their products that emit Cannabis Smoke. However, now companies that have previously issued a consumer warning regarding Cannabis Smoke must expand their warnings to include both the potential risk of cancer and the potential risk of reproductive harm. Additionally, products that previously did not require a warning for Cannabis Smoke will now be subject to Proposition 65 for exposure to THC.

The listing of THC implicates a broader range of cannabis products because it affects any product that contains detectable levels of THC, including products that contain less than 0.3% THC in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill. Under the THC listing, a wide range of cannabis and hemp-derived CBD products, including products that do not emit smoke, such as edibles, topicals, and other concentrates are subject to the Proposition 65 labeling requirements.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Megan Caldwell and Lindy Martinez on Cannabis Law Now

Published: January 29, 2021

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