Consumer Beware: Report Reveals Major Disparities in State Cannabis Testing Programs

The legalization of medical cannabis has covered most of the United States, offering patients an new alternative for their health. Today, there are more than six million registered medical cannabis patients but the safety and quality of the cannabis products they depend on have shocking gaps in how they are tested!

In this comprehensive report: "Regulating Patient Health: An Analysis of Disparities in State Cannabis Testing Programs," we examine in detail the existing disparities between cannabis testing programs between the states and in comparison to other products, with a particular focus on their impact on patient health. Our aim is to expose the pressing issues surrounding cannabis testing by identifying the potential contaminants that could impact patient health or wellbeing, and to advocate for improved regulations and accurate labeling of cannabis products to help safeguard public health.

Our analysis reveals major inconsistencies in the types of tests required, the variety of contaminants tested for, the acceptable levels of those contaminants in cannabis products, and the procedures for handling failed tests. Those disparities compromise the quality and safety of cannabis medicine available to patients and consumers. For individuals with compromised immune systems, pediatric patients, or elderly patients on multiple medications, the presence of contaminants can pose serious risks. Inaccuracies in potency labeling and the homogeneity of cannabinoid ingredients can prevent patients from medicating effectively and disrupt their daily activities.

Even worse, many patients and consumers are unaware that their cannabis products has not been tested for the numerous contaminants highlighted in this report. Cannabis is susceptible to many contaminants, including microbiological contaminants like mold, E. Coli, Salmonella, and Aspergillus, as well as pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, additives, and adulterants. These contaminants can have serious health impacts, and consumers may find it challenging to trace symptoms back to cannabis products, especially when they believe they are using tested and regulated products.

State and federal policymakers are key to shaping and refining the regulatory framework for cannabis testing. By carefully reviewing the findings and recommendations presented in this report, policymakers can actively contribute to the advancement of cannabis testing programs that prioritize patient health and ensure the availability of safe, reliable, and effective cannabis products for those in need. We call upon state legislators to take action to improve their product safety and testing programs, including consumer education. Additionally, we urge policymakers to support the creation of the National Office of Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoid Control (OMCCC) to collaborate with states in improving testing programs and by extension, patient health.

The comprehensive analysis presented in this report provides a foundation for meaningful change in the cannabis market. We encourage you to explore the report, consider its implications, and join us in advocating for robust and uniform cannabis testing regulations. Together, we can create an environment where patients in every state can confidently access cannabis products that meet the highest standards of safety and quality.


If you appreciate ASA's work, join now to become a part of the movement, sign up to get ASA's monthly newsletters and updates, or donate to help us continue to do the important work we do everyday to help bring greater access to patients across the country.