The vast majority of the marijuana currently being legally sold in California remains untested by laboratories after the state legalized cannabis and retail sales of recreational marijuana began on January 1st. California has given dispensaries until this summer to sell the untested marijuana they currently have before more rigorously regulating the marijuana market’s testing standards.
The National Marijuana News decided to see what the marijuana consumer experience is like at a number of California dispensaries recently. We wanted to see the quality of marijuana and the knowledge base of store workers on their marijuana products and whether the cannabis had been tested. Check out the video below.
The illegal marijuana market is obviously not tested, so many consumers never even considered the fact that they were consuming bacteria and pesticides. However, California dispensary laws mandate that any legal marijuana sold be tested so that consumers can have an healthier experience.
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.
“Pesticides are one of the things, but there are a variety of pathogenic molds and fungus that can also grow on cannabis. it can be dangerous to human beings, especially people who have compromised immune systems,” said DeAngelo.
Up until now, pot agriculture has been unregulated. That changed January first. The state now requires testing for 66 pesticides, harmful chemicals, and dangerous fungi.
The only reason why consumers would tolerate purchasing marijuana that had fungus and pesticides on it is because the illegal market has been prevalent for so long and consumers are simply used to untested cannabis. However, states should hold their legitimate cannabis businesses to higher standards but it is not entirely the state’s fault either.
Lori Ajax, California’s chief of cannabis regulation, said earlier this year that writing regulations for lab testing was probably the biggest challenge her team faced in writing medical marijuana regulations. The medical marijuana rules have since been folded into rules for the adult use market, which opens Jan. 1.
Most marijuana consumers, as of now, probably do not even care whether marijuana is lab tested since they have been consuming untested illegal marijuana their entire lives. Is this a case of “ignorance is bliss”, because most people would never knowingly consider consuming fungus, bacteria or pesticides on any other sort of product, would they?