Originally published March 23 2015
Improved safety and efficacy testing for legal cannabis provides huge business opportunities for entrepreneurs
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A prominent marijuana research and testing facility in Denver, Colorado, claims that a surprising amount of legal cannabis currently on the market in the Centennial State is contaminated with toxins like mold, heavy metals and pesticides.
Dr. Andy LaFrate of Charas Scientific, reporting his findings at the recent national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), warns that cannabis consumers need to be wary of the quality of the products they purchase, emphasizing the need for improved testing and growing practices.
The conclusions made from his inquiry, which was based on 600 marijuana samples purchased from various dispensaries around Colorado, suggest that a vast new market for clean, organic cannabis is on the horizon.
In addition to the contamination issue, Dr. LaFrate also pointed out that many of today's most popular cannabis strains are exceptionally high in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), with very little CBD (cannabidiol), a marijuana compound that's been shown to have a therapeutic effect on patients with epilepsy and chronic seizures.
"It's pretty startling just how dirty a lot of this stuff is," stated LaFrate to Smithsonian.com. "I've heard a lot of complaints from medical patients because somebody claims that a product has a high level of CBD, and it turns out that it actually doesn't."
Improved safety and efficacy testing for legal cannabis provides huge business opportunities for entrepreneursDr. LaFrate's company obviously has a vested interest in finding problems with marijuana, considering its entire business model is dependent upon uncovering hidden contamination. But the highly effective liquid chromatography testing method that the company used to uncover this contamination suggests that there's a lot of legitimate improvements to be made in the legal marijuana industry.
Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has repeatedly exposed heavy metal contamination in rice protein and other food products using similar testing methods because they're virtually unmatched when it comes to identifying hidden contaminants in food products.
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As far as the safety of legal cannabis, some mainstream media outlets have been quick to condemn the marijuana industry because of Dr. LaFrate's findings. The Daily Mail, for instance, claims that the presence of contamination in some cannabis samples "casts doubt" on the entire legalization movement.
Legal cannabis creates endless opportunities for improving quality of plant product This is completely absurd, of course, but prohibitionists are desperate to find something, anything, that will scare people away from this harmless plant. Too much THC, too little CBD, too many pesticides -- these and other issues associated with legal cannabis show that legalization is creating new opportunities for improved cannabis cultivation and distribution.
On the black market, cannabis users have very few options when it comes to accessing a clean, safe product. And on the budding legal market, we can now see that some growers aren't paying as close attention to the safety and quality of their products as they should be, which means more opportunities for private businesses and entrepreneurs to step in and fill the need for improved testing, certification, safety and quality standards.
"Cannabis legalization remains in its nascent stages both in terms of market economics and consumer awareness," says the Organic Cannabis Association, a group devoted to creating and implementing rigorous organic standards in the cultivation of legal cannabis and value-added cannabis products.
"It is only logical that [cannabis legalization] continues with the standardization and proliferation of organically grown cannabis."
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