Cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access released a report examining the inconsistencies between cannabis testing programs in different states compared with other regulated products and the potential impact they have on patient health.
The report, “Regulating Patient Health: An Analysis of Disparities in State Cannabis Testing Programs” delves into the dangers of consuming cannabis containing contaminants such as mold, heavy metals and pesticides and clearly shows the alarming discrepancies between testing requirements, acceptable contaminant levels, testing methodologies and the varied reporting processes for failed tests in different states.
According to the report, there are more than 6 million medical cannabis patients supporting the multitude of state-sponsored medical marijuana programs and many of them may be unaware of the likelihood that their medical products were mislabeled or were simply not tested for a variety of potentially harmful contaminants.
“As a physician, proper labeling of cannabis products is paramount for me and my patients to optimize dosing, safety and formulations that might best work for their condition,” family physician Stephen Dahmer, MD said in a press release. “Contaminants can have serious health impacts. It is both imperative and long overdue the creation of federal minimum standards and transparency for the millions of Americans utilizing cannabis products as a therapy.”
The report highlights the need for updated regulations on cannabis testing and the barriers advocates are facing to make them a reality, and it includes several resources aimed to help policymakers adopt update their state’s cannabis testing regulations.
Among the recommendations listed in the report is creating a National Office of Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoid Control, which ASA president Steph Sherer said would “provide the necessary guidance, oversight, and resources to ensure standardized testing programs across all states.”
— Patrick Wagner