The legalization of cannabis for medical purposes has gained significant momentum throughout the United States, offering patients a potential alternative for managing their health conditions. Today, there are more than six million registered medical cannabis patients across the country who depend on state medical cannabis programs for access to their medicine. However, ensuring the safety and quality of cannabis products remains an issue of paramount concern.
In this comprehensive report: "Regulating Patient Health: An Analysis of Disparities in State Cannabis Testing Programs," we meticulously examine the existing disparities between cannabis testing programs across the states as they relate to other regulated products, with a particular focus on their impact on patient health. Our aim is to shed light on the pressing issues surrounding cannabis testing by identifying potential contaminants that could impact the health and well-being of patients and to advocate for enhanced regulations and accurate labeling of cannabis products that help safeguard public health.
Our analysis reveals significant 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. Such 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 have a profound impact on their health and safety. Inaccuracies in potency labeling and the homogeneity of cannabinoid ingredients can result in discomfort or debilitating symptoms that disrupt daily activities.
Furthermore, many patients and consumers are unaware that their cannabis products may not undergo testing for the numerous contaminants highlighted in this report. Cannabis is susceptible to various 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 hold the key to shaping and refining the regulatory framework surrounding 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.
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- Regulating Patient Health Executive Summary - this executive summary provides you with the most crucial information from our analysis
- Regulating Patient Health Full Report - review or share this PDF copy of the report
- PFC Cannabis & Hemp Product Safety Standards - these standards form the basis of our PFC cannabis industry standards and ensure that cannabis products meet or exceed all relevant product safety requirements and provide patients the quality of cannabis products that they deserve
- A Legislative Proposal for Federal Guidance on Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoid Policy - our report highlights the need for federal action and coordination to ensure safe cannabis products nationwide, review our presentation on why we need federal oversight and check out our flyer for a brief overview of the issue
- What's in Your Cannabis Products? A Patient's Guide to Understanding Labels and Interpreting Product Certificates of Analysis (CoA) - this guide provides patients and consumers with an explanation for how to review cannabis products labels and analysis to ensure that they are consuming safe products
- Regulated Cannabis Retailer lookup - It can be a challenge for patients and consumers to determine which cannabis businesses are licensed by their state and selling regulated and tested products. Use this page to find the retailers approved by your state.
STATE LICENSE BUSINESS SEARCH
Patients & consumers across the United States can now access cannabis products in numerous forms from a variety of markets. However, they may not be aware that these products have not all undergone comprehensive safety evaluations or testing for contaminants, harmful additives & adulterants. Cannabis, CBD & "Hemp-Derived" products sold in retail environments such as gas stations, corner stores or even pharmacies, despite professional packaging, have no regulatory oversight Consumers should use caution before consuming products from these markets. But It is not always clear which businesses/products are regulated. In some instances, online & retail stores selling these unregulated products pose as state-licensed businesses. If you're uncertain about a store's legitimacy look it up with state’s cannabis licensing authority by going to their websites or by using the links below:
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