As the first state to legalize medical marijuana, California is to date one of the largest cannabis markets in the United States. A nine-member panel of scientists, that make up the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee, voted this past week that cannabis products in the state of California will require by law a warning label.
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In 2009 California listed marijuana smoke as a potential cancer causer, classifying it alongside tobacco smoke. This vote will now add THC and marijuana smoke to the list of chemicals that California deems to potentially hinder development as well as cause birth defects in children.
Research shows that more and more mothers-to-be are turning to cannabis products to aid their morning sickness specifically. The U.S. surgeon general has warned that marijuana is harmful for mothers and their developing children. However, cannabis officials believe that there is not enough reliable research to prove that cannabis use by an expecting mother will cause harm to the child she is carrying. Those arguing pro marijuana use for expecting mothers also point out that current research has only examined women who smoke marijuana, overlooking vapes, topical creams and other methods of using the drug.
This review was carried out under an umbrella of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65). The panel of scientists reviewed all research and studies to date around this topic and ruled in favor of warning labels, allowing the general public to sue on behalf of the state in any situation where a distributor fails to provide warning labels on the products they are distributing.
This ruling will not take effect for another year. During this time, The National Institute on Drug Abuse will fund several studies on marijuana use and pregnancy, and state officials will work to determine what level of exposure presents significant enough health risk to require warnings.