(Note from Erin: My editor has a friend with a medical cannabis card in Michigan and according to her, all their products are organic and tested at another facility so things like this DON’T happen. You should know where even your cannabis comes from.)
In late April the California State Bureau of Cannabis announced that with just 57 labs- statewide- to test millions of pounds of weed, they were behind. And that means that some of the pot on shelves might not meet state standards that go into effect in the next couple months. (California became the 6th state to legalize the sale of marijuana to anyone 21 or older on Jan. 1, 2018.)
“According to the cannabis industry association, just 5-percent of cannabis products for sale in the state are tested for safety. And some experts believe as much as half the pot being grown is contaminated with potentially dangerous chemicals or bacteria.”1
Until January 1st, pot agriculture was unregulated. Now the state of California requires testing for 66 pesticides, harmful chemicals, and dangerous fungi. And they’ve given growers and sellers until July first to sell the pot they already have (that’s not been tested).
According to Anthony Torres, a Senior Researcher at Steep Hill- the nations first pot safety testing lab (which also happens to be owned by Harborside cannabis dispensary founder Steve DeAngelo)- they are finding many of the compounds that will ultimately be banned by the state in samples. Take fungicides and pesticides, for instance; while they may be “safe” to use on food, that doesn’t necessarily follow when they are smoked, “Torres explained that one of them is particularly bad, ‘Upon combustion, myclobutanil forms cyanide gas – which can make it into your bloodstream and it’s very toxic.'”2
Your best and safest bet is to buy tested cannabis is at a licensed dispensary. Period.