Medicinal Cannabis in CT: What’s in a name?

 

Did you know that in the state of CT, the dispensaries carry cannabis medicine, and give it names that are unfamiliar  and unrelated to the common name for the product?   For instance, one of my favorite cannabis strains is called Bubblicious. This medicine helped to heal some of the neurological problems I was having, including double vision and eye droop.  If I were to move to CT and look for that medicine, it would be nearly impossible to figure out which one it is.

Here is the state law:

Sec. 21a-408-59. Brand Name

(a) A producer shall assign a brand name to each marijuana product. A producer shall

register each brand name with the department, on a form prescribed by the commissioner,

prior to any sale to a dispensary facility and shall associate each brand name with a specific

laboratory test that includes a terpenes profile and a list of all active ingredients, including:

(1) Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC);

(2) Tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA);

(3) Cannabidiols (CBD);

(4) Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA); and

(5) Any other active ingredient that constitutes at least 1% of the marijuana batch used

in the product.

(b) A producer shall not label two marijuana products with the same brand name unless

the laboratory test results for each product indicate that they contain the same level of each

active ingredient listed within subsection (a)(1) to (4), inclusive, of this section within a

range of 97% to 103%.

(c) The department shall not register any brand name that:

(1) Is identical to, or confusingly similar to, the name of an existing non-marijuana

product;

(2) Is identical to, or confusingly similar to, the name of an unlawful product or

substance;

(3) Is confusingly similar to the name of a previously approved marijuana product brand

name;

(4) Is obscene or indecent;

(5) May encourage the use of marijuana for recreational purposes;

(6) May encourage the use of marijuana for a condition other than a debilitating medical

condition;

(7) Is customarily associated with persons under the age of 18; or

(8) Is related to the benefits, safety or efficacy of the marijuana product unless supported

by substantial evidence or substantial clinical data.

(Effective September 6, 2013)

 

While I have often said that the names of the medicine such as “headbanger” and “blue dream” don’t sound very medicinal, the fact is that they absolutely are medicinal.  People should know what they are getting when purchasing the medicine without confusion.    It’s great that the content of the medicine is on the label for sure. That said, the medicine has been around a long time, and those who use it are often already aware of the strains that help them. Giving them other random names isn’t fair to the patient, who then has to navigate these names to determine what will work.  Is it simply a ploy to increase sales, just like big pharma? 

Yes, the pharmaceutical companies have been doing this for a long time. There is the chemical name and then the common name. For instance,  valium is actually diazepam and percocet is actually oxycodone with acetominophen.   Why are the drugs renamed by pharmaceutical companies?  I’ve attached an article below about that subject for you to read.  But make no mistake, when it comes down to it, it’s all about marketing and sales. Lets face it, long chemical names can be difficult for consumers to pronounce, and state out loud to the pharmacist or physician. I have to say here though, having to say the chemical name may in fact be helpful, reminding the individual that they are in fact putting chemicals in their body every time they take a drug.

So why would CT follow a pharmaceutical model, and rename cannabis strains?  We can speculate further,  but it’s more productive to move forward and work to change this.  When one is suffering with medical conditions that require medicinal cannabis for healing and reducing symptoms, why should one have to purchase medicine that may or may not help?  Especially when if one knew that actual strain names, one could make an informed purchase and not waste money, time and effort.   Is it about sales and greed? Is it about fear?  We don’t know, but at Bulldozer Health we are about to find out with the help of CT volunteers Joe Delaney and Cody Roberts. We will keep you posted about our conversations and work with the CT State Committees and Representatives.

This blog post, is a part of a series about our project to help patients in CT with this issue and much more! If you would like to volunteer in CT for Bulldozer Health Inc., please contact us via our website at http://www.bulldozerhealth.org

 

Peace,

Wendy Love Edge

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-04/fyi-how-does-drug-get-its-name

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