SB15-260, the Medical Marijuana Testing bill, will be heard by the Committee on State, Veteran, and Millitary Affairs on Wednesday afternoon. Although patients support testing of medical marijuana, this bill doesn’t go far enough.
Cannabis Patients Alliance has been made aware of the names of those marijuana businesses in Denver who have violated restrictions on pesticide use and are subject to quarantine. Some of these are major players in the industry, holding themselves up as models for how to do it right, while knowingly putting customers including patients at risk.
In light of this information along with recent news reports on microbial contaminants (mold) in marijuana, there is no reason to delay testing of medical marijuana any longer.
- Start testing for contaminants immediately. The processes for testing for microbials, heavy metals, pesticides and other contaminants are not specific to marijuana. These tests are the same for other food products and consumables. The only test specific to marijuana is cannabinoid potency. There is no reason why the licensed labs could not start testing medical marijuana for contaminants immediately, so why do we continue to put patients at risk?
- Test for cannabinoid potency as soon as possible, with a hard deadline. Although this is the most complicated test for cannabis, it’s also very critical to patients. Since many patients look for strains and products high in cannabinoids other than THC, particularly CBD for kids, it’s important to know how much THC and other cannabinoids are in each strain or product.
- Allow patients and caregivers to have access to testing labs. There is an assumption that marijuana produced by the industry is somehow safer than what’s produced at home or by caregivers. There’s no evidence to support that assumption, and considering this new information, one is left to wonder if growing organically at home in small quantities is actually safer. How will we know without testing? Patients and caregivers need access to certified licensed labs immediately.
- Results of tests as well as any violations should be made publicly available. Consumers and patients have a right to know that what they’re purchasing from an otherwise regulated industry is safe. We post this kind of information for bars and restaurants. Why should the marijuana industry be exempt? Washington posts this information on their web site. Why doesn’t Colorado?
We are grateful to Senator Aguilar for bringing this bill forward; however, we ask that it be amended to address the issues above.
This was the email I sent last night to the Committee after speaking with Larisa Bolivar of the Cannabis Consumer Coalition about the results of their CORA request on pesticide use in the industry. Special thank you to Larisa for making the request and sharing it with us. This is very important information.