Times are changing in California, but this time we aren’t the ones setting the stage. Colorado and Washington were first through the gate of legal recreational marijuana and the mandatory testing of those products came along with the legalization. Gov. Jerry Brown is being proactive with the possibility that marijuana is legalized recreationally in California in 2016. He has already signed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act into law, a 70 page document put together by California law makers earlier this year.
This will bring California’s cannabis industry under a new world of regulation covering every aspect from production to transportation to all distribution channels. Once this law goes into effect on January 1, 2018 all cannabis, medical or recreational (if/when it does become recreationally legal), must be tested by a third party laboratory. The specifics of what the cannabis will be tested for are still up in the air but getting out in front of the regulations and helping set the standard is a good way to steer where these regulations may settle.
Another aspect, beyond compliance, is the progression of the cannabis consumer. Some users are looking for specific cannabinoid profiles with ratios of CBD to THC in a certain range for their desired effect, wether that effect is high CBD to low THC for seizure treatment, or closer to 1:1 for a more “elevated” state. Being able to show third party verification a specific batch of cannabis product will help keep end users informed, growers consistent, dispensaries confident… and everyone honest.
At the end of the day, this is a step in the right direction. The general public is starting to see the advantages of cannabis and the fact it is much less dangerous than numerous other legal substances. The government needs the tax revenues, and the people are going to use it, legal or not. Either way, consumers should know what they are consuming.