In California, cannabis consumers are about to get a strong dose of cannabis legalization.
As the state moves into the new adult-use market on January 1st, dispensaries will be selling product off the shelves of entities only recently and temporarily licensed.
That means, of course, that California is about to experience the birthing pains of ensuring quality, lab-tested products to their customers, pains very similar to those in states like Colorado, Oregon New Mexico, and others.
Ironically, with our previous, laid-back systems of providing medicine to patients, the rigors of ensuring product quality and safety has not risen to the level of other market items – not to the standards of foods or herbal supplements, much less pharmaceuticals. Now, with the clear need for greater oversight, purveyors of the plant will have to meet the new standards.
US News and World Report commented this week on the new testing requirements for California:
“Juan Hidalgo, agricultural commissioner for Santa Cruz County, said pesticides are a top concern, and he wants to know what is being applied and whether workers on site are protected. Farmers who spray their own pesticides have to get a certificate from the commissioner that requires passing a test and taking refresher courses every three years.”
While education of pesticide use will play a key role in management of healthy cannabis production for human consumption, not everyone agrees that total elimination of pesticides is necessary. Mike Winder, manager of The Green Easy in Los Angeles, suggested:
“‘I think it’s a little funny that this year everybody’s caring about pesticides,” he said. “People have been smoking weed 30, 40, 50 years, and it’s never been an issue.’
“Winderman said he wouldn’t be surprised to find shops snapping up inventory now to avoid taxes that will take effect Jan. 1 and because some popular products may not be available if small producers who don’t want to pay registration fees drop out of the industry.”
Whatever the feelings of cannabis-growing veterans, the new regulations are here to stay (although there will be some reforms). Whatever pesticides might end up being used on cannabis in the future, and whether you are ambivalent towards pesticides or the thought of them sends you scurrying, consumers will soon have much greater control over their purchases in this regard.
However, while the law is set to go into effect January 1st, experts warn untested cannabis from the pre-2018 market will still be allowed on the shelves and consumers end up buying what is now called “tainted cannabis” (formerly called “cannabis”) for another six months or so.
If you want to stay on top of the evolving California legalization roll-out, including pesticide regulations, the International Cannabis Business Conference has you covered. Come hear all that you need to know, and network with other industry professionals, on February 1st and 2nd in San Francisco. Get your tickets today!