The commercial sale of marijuana products began in 2014, following the historic vote in Colorado and Washington in November of 2012. The economic impact has been significant and wide-spread throughout the two states ever since. Now in 2017, we are up to eight states that have legalized marijuana for recitational use, and 20 others where marijuana is legalized for medical use.
In a brand-new, billion-dollar industry that shows no signs of slowing, it makes sense that entrepreneurs far-and-wide want a piece of the cannabis business in these states, with more certainly to follow. But the influx of product to dispensaries is not necessarily a good thing, as testing, research and due diligence is often neglected in favor of speed to market and turning a profit. This is a major problem for the cannabis space, as testing and scientific research are vital for the safety of the consumer and the future of the industry.
If we want to make Cannabis main-stream, safety and responsibility must not be overlooked in favor or profit.
Current products on the market make precise dosage unclear. Everybody is different and metabolizes cannabinoids in different ways. Yet for the most part, this is not clearly communicated to the consumer.
Through testing, the exact number and concentration of cannabinoids as well as terpenes in each product is understood, making the user better educated about the specific effects, thereby leading to a safer, more controlled experience.
Additionally, marijuana is a plant. With that, comes fungus, pesticide residue, and other parasites that grow in the ground. Of course, most organizations clean the plant thoroughly before heading into the product development stage, but often, that’s not enough.
There should be scientific testing at every level to ensure safety and quality, not just a quick rinse. In the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology firms put in years of research before a new medication hits the market. Why not the same standard for the marijuana industry?
Investment of time
Once legalized, there was a rush to get product into dispensaries. This growing industry was flush with cash and smart entrepreneurs wanted a piece. However, the investment of time in this space is a major asset. Pharmacokinetic testing in the development of cannabis products should be an industry standard as it tests how the product will be metabolized.
But it does take a lot of time and money – and in such a fast-paced industry, it is a luxury many are unwilling to sacrifice for. But from a consumer responsibility standpoint, it should be standard across the board.
(Lack of) Regulations
In most industries, there are strict regulations in place, and infractions will result in heavy fines and punishment. Organizations cannot cut corners without a huge risk involved. In fact, the pharmaceuticals industries, which has been compared to the cannabis business, is widely viewed as over-regulated. Yet, with cannabis there is a lot of miss-information out there, and product safety seems to be a grey-area. In many ways, these first couple years of legalization have been the wild west for entrepreneurs.
Since formal regulations are not yet in place, cannabis organizations need to take the initiative and hold themselves to a higher standard. At NanoSphere Health Sciences, we pride ourselves on being an ethical cannabis, pharmaceutical and nanotechnology company, and we want to provide users with the highest level of quality, beyond what the industry requires. Through testing, and deep scientific research, we’re able to produce a safer product. Each consumer will know exactly how many and which types of cannabinoids are being delivered into their body and metabolized, which is unheard of in the industry to date.
The cannabis boom has done many amazing things for the Colorado and Washington economies. They’re setting an example for other states that have, or will be legalizing marijuana. If this industry is going to go mainstream, it is more important than ever for manufacturers and growers in these select states to set the standards for safety and testing cannabis based products.