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California’s Cannabis Testing Troubles

testing cannabis for potency and contaminants

The legalization of cannabis is a sensitive issue in many parts of the United States. Indeed, it is truly a controversial subject globally. However, in the state of California, much to the joy of its residents, cannabis was finally fully legalized at the beginning of 2018. Since that time, the cannabis industry has not been the most stable.

Perhaps to the public eye, including tourists, everything appears to be going perfectly. Thanks to many of the new cannabis legalization laws being passed in the country, it’s no wonder why so many people seem to be misled about the state of the cannabis industry in California. There have been problems that few are even aware, and when they finally come to light, it strongly affects the public’s trust in the overall process of legalization.

Although the legalization of marijuana in California is generally seen as a boom in the rest of the country, the truth is that in California there’s little legislation regulating the legal market. So for now, pot growers in Cali are forced to rely on temporary guidelines, while lawmakers do something about it, which will take at least until sometime in the beginning of 2019.

Clearly, there is pressure to accelerate this process to assure that safety testing is implemented as soon as possible. As soon as the legislation is complete, all future cannabis products will be required to go through a series of laboratory tests before they are distributed in the state of California. These tests will be for much more than just basic THC and CBD levels. The testing will also ensure that THC is evenly distributed throughout consumables, that no mold or insects are present in the marijuana flower, and to verify that the potency of the products is accurately printed on the labels.

While all of this might not seem like such a big deal to the occasional smoker or even the regular recreational smoker, those who rely on medicinal marijuana will greatly benefit from these new regulations and “safety tests.”

These safety tests will lead to not only safer quality cannabis, and all of its consumable byproducts, but a more consistent potency in comparison to what the label says as well. To clarify, this would cut back on dispensaries that are selling cannabis with 15 percent THC as 20 percent THC (whether on purpose or accident). Again, this might not seem like such a big deal to those who don’t use cannabis on a daily basis. However, for those who do use marijuana daily, the results of the new safety tests are the promise of a better cannabis market.

At the moment, lawmakers also have to take into consideration the fact that there are those who would rather cheat than follow the rules. For examples, recently, Sequoia Analytical Labs, one of the companies participating in the Sacramento-based mandatory safety tests, was forced to surrender their license when it was discovered that they falsified test results. The company admitted to testing cannabis products for only 44 of 66 types of pesticides and contaminants. They also admitted to secretly tampering with the results. Sequoia’s public response to the situation was blaming the inaccurate results on defective equipment.

It’s no secret that the cannabis market is already a very lucrative one, and thanks to legalization, it’s likely to quickly grow to several trillion dollars. So, it’s not surprising that some cheaters will get involved, the trick is to keep the bad apples from ruining the whole barrel. That said, California has yet again met a crossroads in the legalization process. It will probably not be the last as measures such as mandatory safety tests are necessary to standardize the cannabis market.

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