As marijuana regulations loosen up across the country, California considers warning consumers about potential health concerns by adding several various cannabis products to the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also known as Prop 65.
Earlier this year, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) asked the public for comments
as they consider adding marijuana, cannabis extracts, and Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to the list of potentially carcinogenic substances regulated under Prop 65.
Once comments are reviewed, a final decision
to add the products to Prop 65 is expected in the next few months. These additions would be the first cannabis substances added to the proposition since marijuana smoke’s inclusion in 2009.
If approved, manufacturers will have to identify any or all these substances as potential carcinogens and/or reproductive toxicants when present in their products.
Proposition 65, or Prop 65 for short, was enacted in 1986 to protect California’s drinking water sources
from being contaminated with chemicals that have potential to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm. There are a vast range of chemicals included on the Prop 65 list, including ingredients found in pesticides, personal goods, food, or drugs. This list is updated annually
and now includes over 1,000 chemicals.
The proposition requires companies who use these substances in their products to notify consumers about the potential hazards posed by these substances. These businesses must also monitor and control chemical discharges to sources of drinking water. Manufacturers that fail to adhere to these regulations can be fined as much as $2,500 per violation per day.
2018 Changes to Prop 65
Prop 65 was last amended in 2018, when the OEHHA updated guidelines
for what constitutes a “clear and reasonable warning.” Other changes include:
- Redefining key terms like “label,” “sign,” “occupational exposure,” and others.
- Adding definitions for the terms “food,” “consumer information,” “knowingly,” and more.
- Revising criteria for determining responsibility to provide product warnings.
- Updating requirements for the content of consumer product exposure warnings.
- Changes to the current “safe harbor” warning.
Prop 65 warning labels were also updated in 2018, with the addition of a a yellow triangle with a black exclamation mark pictogram, requiring more specific information about the chemicals present in the product, and displaying the P65Warnings.ca.gov web address for more information.
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