Today on the newswire, a whole lot of news services picked up the Associated Press article, “Buyers beware: California cannabis sold Jan. 1 could be tainted,” and ran it. The same story ran in The Cannabist, the Press Democrat, and many others (ABC even ran their own riff on the headline, “Burners beware.” Get it?).
The odd thing about the article isn’t that it raises concerns about the content of pesticides in California’s weed. The odd thing is that the whole reason those concerns are being raised is that the pesticides will likely significantly decrease in the near future. They just haven’t yet.
The whole angle of the article is pegged on the fact that when recreational cannabis goes full legal in California come January 1, the full regulations that go with recreational weed won’t yet be in place. While there will be pesticide testing standards in place next year, lawmakers realized it wasn’t practical or fair to make cannabis producers start testing their product with 2018 rules during 2017.
And since weed made with 2017 requirements is all we’ll have available come the first of the new year, lawmakers have decided to grant a six month grace period, where distributors can still sell their old stuff, even if it hasn’t been tested for pesticides.
Weed tested after January 1 will be subject to testing, and there may be even stricter limits phased in by the beginning of 2019, according to the AP.
But some people can’t help but see the absurdity in pesticides suddenly becoming a big deal in cannabis. “I think it’s a little funny that this year everybody’s caring about pesticides,” Mike Winderman, manager of The Green Easy in Los Angeles, told the AP. “People have been smoking weed 30, 40, 50 years, and it’s never been an issue.”
Earlier in the year, a study from University of California, Davis chemistry professor and professional marijuana testing consultant Donald Land found that, of 15 samples of Southern California weed, 93 percent contained pesticides.
It’s still largely unknown what the negative health effects of smoking pesticide-frosted weed is. Federal regulations against cannabis research have made studying its effects a very slow and difficult process.
Photo via Flickr user jetsandzeppelins