Should Cannabis Products Come With Mental Health Warning Labels?

Cannabis products could soon come with labels warning of potential mental health impacts.

Sen. Richard Pan’s SB 1097, the Cannabis Right to Know Act, is moving through the Legislature with the backing of the Public Health Institute. In addition to new packaging labels, it would require retailers to distribute informational brochures to first-time customers about the possible mental health risks associated with cannabis.

A 2019 study in The Lancet Psychiatry found high-potency cannabis use is associated with a fourfold increase in the risk of developing psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia. State hospital data show ER visits for cannabis-induced psychosis have risen 54% post-legalization.

Critics, however, say lawmakers ought to be focusing on the robust illegal market rather than the legal one, which is already heavily regulated.

"This bill is really duplicative and puts unnecessary burdens on the legal cannabis industry, as we already have incredibly restrictive packaging and advertising requirements," Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, told NPR.