Tainted Cannabis and the Regulations That Follow

tainted cannabis
Written by Cara Wietstock

At the end of August, California cannabis was tested at Anresco Labs for the Bay Area’s HempCon. According to a San Francisco Magazine article published August 30, 80% of those samples came back tainted with pesticides, fungicides, and/or mold & microbial. The actionable levels of these foreign substances would have failed the rigid Oregon or slightly less intense Colorado testing regulations. And soon, these products will most likely fail the exceptionally tight California testing lab regulations currently proposed by the state.

This alarming realization came around the same time that the Oregon Health Authority announced the commencement of their new regulations regarding pesticides. A continued battle that Oregon growers are consistently angry about. This is because each new testing law raises their budget that much more on top of the rigorous license and permit fees they’re paying to other entities. Despite these struggles, every sample of a cannabis product, even those tested before August 30, must now be tested directly for pesticides.

Also now samples from batches of anything being transferred from producer/grower to retailer must be tested for pesticides, moisture content/water activity, and potency. Same goes for batches that are being transported from producer to a processor for making extractions, they must be tested for moisture content/water activity unless the extractor will be applying the proper sterilization methods. Lastly, these rules apply to samples being transferred from a producer/grower to a manufacturer for the purpose of edibles, tinctures, etc.

Push back from producers is imminent with the implementation of somewhat new regulatory tightening, but to keep the public safe it is necessary to test cannabis products at multiple phases. If this plant is truly a medicine, which we wholeheartedly believe that it is, it needs to be manufactured and distributed with the same care with which we distribute our medicine. With dirty cannabis in a market as huge as California regulators certainly have their work cut out for them in the coming months.

About the author

Cara Wietstock

Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the plant have brought her to Terpenes and Testing magazine. She now helps keep us on the cutting edge of scientific cannabis discovery as the Editor-in-Chief of the print publication.

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