The legal cannabis industry has become extremely cut throat since California signed prop 64 into law. As more companies and big investors enter the legal market in California the competition for licensed brands has increased dramatically. The industry has become even more competitive for disenfranchised operators who struggle to source clean material for processing and general consumption.
The cannabis industry is akin to any other consumable and the lack of structure at the regulatory level for enforcement is ridiculous. If its California or New Jersey consumers are running the risk of being poisoned by their cannabis product of choice.
Despite these risks, there are still industry leaders like Mad Labs which prioritize quality and authenticity. Companies recognize doing a great job also means ensuring customers are healthy and safe. It is often difficult to choose the right brand and the best companies recognize their brand value comes down to trust. The safety and health of cannabis consumers is being jeopardized by state governments who are unwilling to actively enforce regulations. What is worse the current regulators focus on the wrong regulations to enforce like searching for disenfranchised farmers instead of enforcing the testing labs that are mandated by the government to keep our community safe and healthy.
As the United States expands cannabis legalization to more states, we see more bad actors and unethical business owners enter the licensed industry. At the same time, we see the governments in major markets continue to restrict permits and applications to all but the wealthy and well connected.
The legalization of cannabis is supposed to help the consumer and the community, in many ways this was accomplished through decimalization. Recently we are starting to see more and more garbage enter the market. From the rise of trap CRC to licensed products with fraudulent labs tests the consumer has never faced more risks from the cannabis industry.
We need real enforcement of important regulations that keep consumers safe. It is very unfortunate that regulators have focused on the disenfranchised segment of the industry instead of the licensed labs and operators that are passing off bad products. The idea that consumers are paying the government taxes to be poisoned by a company that was tested by a state licensed lab is preposterous. We know for a fact that operators across the state are pressuring their labs to pass dirty products and protect profit margins over health standards. This is across the industry and until the regulators focus on bad actors this will only get worse. We know that the cannabis industry is full of people who are willing to cut corners in the name of additional profits.
A Modern Industry with Common Problems
Cannabis is finally a recognized industry and the products are consumer digestible like food, bad actors are literally poisoning you when they falsify lab tests. These bad actors are exposing themselves to legal liability including possible fraud. Make no mistake, falsifying lab tests for a client is fraud. In most industries regulations are established to keep customers and workers safe, in the cannabis industry it is clear paying taxes is far more important than consumer health and safety.
Maybe if cannabis regulators like the BCC took action and identified bad testing labs, we might have some consumer protections from this new industry. NO ONE should be on the side of a testing lab that misrepresents test results. We as consumers need to hold our brands accountable and reward companies that protect their customers.
Do you want to smoke a product that tests positive for arsenic and lead? Do you trust that your lab is following all of the proper regulations? What would cause you to distrust your local operator’s lab of choice? Do fake lab reports cause a major class action lawsuit? I have so many of these questions for our community and we should all be asking the hard questions that we know these bad actors do not really want to answer. What is more important to our cannabis community; health and well being or profit margins and investors taking no losses? That’s the problem, we have too many cowboys and old school owners who are used to the old ways of the cannabis business. They cannot imagine taking a six-figure loss due to mold and heavy metals. In the old days they would just sell it without a second thought. Today this is a real business not a criminal enterprise and businesses need to be held responsible when they knowingly poison their customers. That is what being an adult is all about, accountability, responsibility, and sometimes even culpability. Just because this is the cannabis industry doesn’t mean we are not going to treat it the same as any other industry when it comes to enforcement of health and safety…. Oh, wait the government doesn’t seem to care in the slightest.
The largest problem with cannabis health and safety regulations are the lack of standardization across the board. We need standards across the industry in testing, packaging, and batch quantity. There are still great companies doing their very best to source clean material for processing and manufacturing.
Leaders like Mad Labs use authentication technology to protect customer’s health and safety. Please check out the great work being done at Mad Labs. Testing standards are critical but we also need packaging standardization so brands are forced to pay attention to freshness and quality. In addition to quality, packaging standards could help eliminate counterfeit products by making authentication solutions a standard piece of packaging requirements. As an industry we also need standardization for batch quantities and how we label batches based on the quantities produced. Everyone wants to use the term small batch, craft, premium, or ultra-premium to describe their high-end brand when we know that is not always accurate. I want standards on what it means to be called premium, craft, or small batch. Are these terms synonymous or are they different batch quantities? Right now, we have companies calling their products small batch or ultra-premium and we know for a fact it is not.
Testing facilities can more or less adjust their Limits of Detection LOD and Limits of Quantification LOQ to let products get through testing that should fail. Legitimate labs make sure their instruments are properly calibrated to detect small amounts of dangerous toxins while bad actor labs are allowing fraud and they put lives in danger. While some labs are very careful with patient heath others are known to be shady and fraudulent.
The LOD and LOQ are important because a product could test dirty for arsenic or lead with one LOD LOQ setting and pass if they are slightly changed. In some cases, we have heard stories of specific labs making a mockery of the entire state program which has put customers in danger. Until there is real enforcement on these shady labs, we will continue to have demonstrably dangerous products in the market. Only some users like some of our readers and fans can easily identify these brands and in many cases, you will still not know till you are already poisoned. Even the best judges of products will not see what a lab does not show when it comes to heavy metals and dangerous impurities. I like to stick with my favorite quality brands and even then, you are putting your faith in that specific company because bad companies will go find bad labs.
We are even seeing this trend outside of the licensed market, the traditional market has some of the best and worst products in all regions of the country. While many east coast customers still swear by their plug, we are seeing more brokers, trappers, and hustlers complain of lower quality product and in some cases the inability to source clean material for processing. This includes some of the best unlicensed brands that work tirelessly to produce clean products for the nation’s illicit markets. The regulated market needs to stop pretending that they are so much better than those without licenses. We know for a fact that 0.8 bags of sour from 2006 was way better than anything from the largest nationwide US operator. That 0.8 bag had the whole team zooted and your corporate bag smells like wet hay.
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