At 42, I am finally able to treat marijuana like beer (in 4 states only though), not because they have the same effects but because like beer when I first started drinking, I would accept anything given to me because I didn’t know any better. Now when I drink beer I look at things like ABV and talk about notes, tones, and subtle flavors, the same goes for weed.
Back in the day when ignorance was the law of the land, one would smoke whatever they were able to get their hands on. Everything was called Kush, OG, Dank, or fire, there was no indica or sativa but now as the states and the industry slowly gets it’s shit together, I can now have an informed opinion.
The whole time I’ve been advocating for marijuana there has been one consistent mantra among advocates trying to undo a bad law and that’s “Tax and Regulate It”. We all know what taxes are but do people really realize what regulation is and what the good kind can do for you. The great thing about the art of measurement is that nothing matters but the truth, a pound is a pound, ppm levels are the same on all counts, percentages are also an important factor but a percentage of what?
Excessive Rules and Regulations Just Lead to More Ways to Fine You and Make Revenue
There’s one thing we can all agree on and that’s cannabis consumers don’t want to break the law but we all differ on the rules we should follow. Some believe any and all legislation is good legislation and I see why but I try not to voice an opinion on other States, especially after watching the painful course of events here in Washington State. Lots of people have been hurt by the laws that have created zoning, licenses, and the 5 ng dui rule but on the flip side, tourism flourishes and people with steady incomes can swing by the pot shop instead of the liquor store for a nightcap.
Many parts of seed to sale regulation are over the top, why don’t we monitor the apple and potato industry,they can be used to make a toxic drink.
Prior to Washington State’s recreational market, there was the medical market which was the closes thing to a free market I’ve ever seen. A free market is not a bad thing, it’s a market where quality and reputation get you farther than fancy packaging. When medical marijuana was the law of the land, there were farmer’s market dedicated to cannabis and onsite consumption, during this time there was no zombie apocalypse or whatever it is prohibitionist fear, proving the present requirements in Washington are not here for consumer protection but for State revenue.
Lab Regulation is Plant Regulation
It is my contention that lab regulation is plant regulation and that’s all we really need which will allow the end consumer and general public to be safer.
Self regulation by the present cannabis industry is the only way to help even the playing field for recreational and medical, it’s only a matter of time before its mandated. Seed to plant regulation is the most ignorant form of regulation but its what we have to work with, it has protected no one but the State’s personal revenue, when I think of seed to plant regulation I think of people in jumpsuits transferring seeds one at a time in little glass containers being handled delicately like some sort of volatile chemical, delicately transferring things from “point a” to “point b” because that’s their only job. There are many things that an industry and informed consumer must all agree upon, things like how much does an ounce weigh?
What You See Is Not What You Get
I talk about the regulation of checks and balances from an insider’s perspective. For the past 7 years I worked as a third party calibration technician, working to understand various sciences while providing a service to various industries. From cellphone technology to biomed in hospitals, I’ve seen the result of what is the lowest bidder mentality in America and an easy dollar
People usually talk about marijuana based on opinion and conjecture, some on experience but the science is available. Today we understand marijuana also known as cannabis on a molecular level and for an end consumer to know what they like, they have to know what makes up their product.
Lab Regulation is proper regulation for the end consumer as long as we can agree upon what should be identified when tested i.e various cannabinoids, pesticides, and genetics. All of these things referred to have a means to be measured and quantified which means if I can trust the test results and I know what I’m looking for then I can achieve whatever effect I’m going for whether its medicinal or recreational (and if we’re doing it recreationally than that means it’s also medicinal but that’s an argument for a different day).
The Importance of Standardization
How do you know the ounce you’re buying is 28.3494 grams because it never is, usually its 28, 29 or 32 to account for stems if you’re salesperson is a really good guy. People cry that regulation would make marijuana legal but I ask you what is regulation and in whose interest is it for?
Proper regulation is an agreed upon process and methodology; how does one know the establishment is not using a cheating scale? Why does one ounce weighs 28.35 grams and another 31.10 because there are 10 different forms of measurements, this part needs to be standardized. Before the internet and one was able to Google, there’s also the elusive street ounce at 32 grams. At an average of 10 dollars a gram this is a financial difference in pounds.
Why It’s Up To You
I write this based off my own personal disgust over the acceptance of “the lowest bidder mentality” and what I’ve seen by corporate entities don’t give a fuck about product, only the bottom dollar. Only so much bottom dollar can be accepted when this is something I ingest in my body, marijuana doesn’t cause cancer but things it’s processed with can like butane but if done properly it can be safe enough for human ingestion.
Here’s the deal, we as a people rely on the government to have our best interest at heart and in reality that has not been the case in most scenarios. Presently in Washington State there is a faction of government like the FDA and DEA that really doesn’t have the consumer’s interest at heart, this faction is known as the Washington State Liquor Control Board now known as the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis board, a group of individuals in charge of boozing were instantly in charge of marijuana. This board in their infinite wisdom have 13 items on their chemical prohibition list but yet a phonebook for their approved list. Marijuana Enforcement Agencies are in the process of job justification. Some of the rules are worthless.
There are many adult words used when talking about marijuana; regulation, market, free market, freedom, freedom of choice but one of the things we all gonna have to agree upon is the type of market that exists like the fact that prison can’t exist anywhere, anytime.
The Good Kind of Regulation
Over the years I have presented readers a personal opinion, well now there’s a legitimate organization of scientific measurement and balances that agrees with me that marijuana is medicine. This plant which is medicine can also be used for industrial use but that testing is for a different write purpose. I am writing to you about the regulation of the testing laboratories and their processes, regulation for the consumption of marijuana.
In legal states, the questionable days of what is marijuana are gone? Is it a sativa or indica? What are its component levels? Is it high in CBDs, CBNs, THCs, etc…? And just as important does it test positive for toxic pesticides or molds that are not good for human consumption. If we can ensure the reliability of labs across the board using the same methods for reliability this will help the end user make an informed decision about what helps treat their ailments.
When it comes to marijuana, the components are known and one can make an educated decision about what works best for their condition. Name brands are being made to protect the end consumer (you), there’s no better reason to promote testing regulation and try to help establish a recognize methodology to industry practices. Presently there are accrediting bodies becoming more involved, accrediting bodies like the A2LA, authorities that have been helping industries establish uniformity in production and process.
A2LA is a , non-profit organization that is recognized nationally and internationally via their mutual recognition agreement (MRA) among accreditation bodies and though the Interlaboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). A2LA assesses laboratories against an internationally recognized quality standard, ISO/IEC 17025; and compliance with this standard can help part of a system to protect the quantitative measurement, by ensuring that all laboratories are using sound, statistically significant test methods and testing is being performed in compliance with those recognized methods. The ability to establish a warranted scientific testing process is here, it’s a matter of industry members to agree upon the accepted practices like organic vs. chemically induced growth; one is not better than the other but an inform decision is always the right one.
The A2LA has the track record to transform the checks and balances of the tobacco industry to the marijuana industry. Tobacco at its core remains organic, it’s the end cigarette processed by Marlboro that everyone has an issue with, the plant itself has been regulated for 200 years and people don’t have a problem with tobacco, it’s the end product of cigarettes that is more addictive than an organic plant.
Tobacco remains consistent due to round robin testing and uniformed requirements to receive the seal of approval from a third party impartial party.
A2LA has been accrediting laboratories in the tobacco industry as well as the natural plant extract industry for years, so the transition into the accreditation of marijuana testing laboratories has been seamless. Marijuana users, whether recreational or medical, have greater confidence in the safety of the cannabis product because of the accuracy of the quality and safety tests performed on the cannabis they are purchasing, since the results have been generated by a competent facility accredited by an internationally recognized 3rd party Accreditation Body, such as A2LA.
As a technician that knows what should be technically right, as a frequent marijuana consumer patient advocate I urge you, if you care about what goes into your body to look for and urge lab testing and the use of accredited testing labs. Ask for the lab results, know what labs have been through an accreditation process and urge them to get accredited for the more you know about your marijuana, the more you know about your body.