Trail Blazin’ Productions
Trail Blazin’, our licensed cannabis farm, recently dropped off samples at 19 stores. Of those 19 stores, only three were aware of what our DOH Compliant sticker meant.
And the state wonders why there isn’t any medical product available for patients.
Furthermore, a recent survey of “medical marijuana consultants,” a certified budtender position that is required to be on staff in all medically endorsed stores in Washington state, resulted in an equally alarming revelation: our front line to consumers and patients need more training.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing, well-informed budtenders in Washington, but even those with the best intentions may be spreading some potentially harmful information. The following are the misunderstandings we see consistently and some information to help clarify the situation.
1. The consultants don’t know what DOH Compliant product is. DOH Compliant product in Washington follows higher standards, including mandatory testing for prohibited pesticides and heavy metals. There are also choices for high-CBD and high-THC that are not available with adult-use products. Any consumer can buy DOH Compliant product except the high-THC products. For those, you must have a recommendation card.
2. The consultants believe the testing for DOH Compliant product and adult-use product is the same. DOH Compliant products must be tested for pesticides and heavy metals. As of Aug. 14, 2018, pesticide warnings on adult-use product is based on the honor system and testing for pesticides or heavy metals are not required. Cannabis is one of the best phytoremediators known, meaning that it cleans the soil of any contaminates, such as pesticides and heavy metals, by soaking it up through its roots. These required tests for DOH Compliant product, which are not required for adult-use product, are paramount to consumer and patient safety.
3. The consultants don’t understand the difference between “organic” and “pesticide-free.”
“Organic” is not a term we’re allowed to use as it has a federal definition, so I’m going to say “organic-ish.” Organic-ish cannabis is grown with organic nutrients, organic pesticides and organic herbicides. It does not mean pesticide-free. Growers can be organic-ish and still use pesticides. Growers can be also be pesticide-free but not organic-ish. For patients with compromised immune systems, this clarification is VERY important. For example, neem oil (Azadirachtin) is an organic pesticide, so a cannabis cultivator can use it and claim to be organic-ish. However, there is speculation in the cannabis community that neem oil causes of Cannabis Hypermesis Syndrome, which leads to intense nausea and cyclical vomiting. Furthermore, if you have organic-ish product and extract it, you have concentrated the organic pesticides. Thus, organic-ish and pesticide-free can have very different outcomes for the end user.
These misunderstandings are preventing patients from having access to DOH Compliant product because our front line is misinformed. If you are the owner or manager of a retail store in Washington, or a medical consulting education service, you are in an incredible position of power and — to paraphrase Winston Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Spiderman comics — with great power, comes great responsibility. Patients and consumers are relying on you to make sure budtenders are well informed. It’s up to you.