Testing: A Holistic Approach
As the Cannabis Industry grows in Oklahoma many concerns are being raised about our testing standards. Oklahoma is quickly pulling ahead of other states and becoming the leader in the cannabis industry. The risks with that will continue to remain with quality and safety of our products. Many newcomers to the industry focus on the basic potency and pesticide testing but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The reason my team and I decided to join the cannabis industry is because we feel cannabis is a miracle product. It not only can diminish the use of opioids and other harmful pharmaceuticals but also has the opportunity to replace other harmful products that are polluting mother Earth. In order for the legislation to allow the cannabis industry to reach the next level and challenge the big companies like ExxonMobil, we have to create new standards. By doing so we can stand tall next to our products and begin taking the steps to change the world
(yes, the world, we believe cannabis can do that).
There are currently very few rules and regulations to abide by at this time which helps get the product to our patients quicker, however, new testing changes are coming. California is currently leading the way in testing standards to ensure that the product is not harmful to the consumer or the environment as the federal laws requires any Schedule 1 “drug” to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Not ideal as we all know that law will soon change thanks to the great work our advocate groups have done.
The risk of having few regulations is not just on the consumer but on the little businesses trying to create a name for themselves. Some states have created monopolies that prevents a small business owner from being successful due to their strict testing guidelines they created that require large financial hurdle to be surpassed just to test your product before you have to battle to get your product in a dispensary. Our friends next door in Arkansas are one of the states that only sees monopolies offering relief to patients which then raises the question: “Are they patient focused or are they money focused?”
We have a unique opportunity in Oklahoma to have legislation set up the cannabis industry similar to many free market industries. This does allow for some variations in testing methods as each entrepreneur wants to create a new and improved way to get the same result. However, that is a risk of standards which turns into a risk for our patients. In math class, I was on the of the students who could get the right answer utilizing a different way and always fought doing it the way the teacher instructed because why, I got the same answer you did?! The unique benefit was that was just a math class nothing that can be consumed and cause detrimental health effects. Sometimes it might not be just health risks but what about consistent quality of the product? Many of us know that the “shake” of the plant will be less potent than the buds but the packaging and labeling will represent the plant as a whole. This is false advertising and doesn’t help anyone but the greedy. It is important that we challenge the norm but we have to take it in stride together for the betterment of Oklahoma’s Cannabis Industry.
The main reason I am able to bring up this point is due to the patient aspect. When someone is able to transition away from pharmaceutical medicine and improve their livelihood solely because of cannabis then we know we have a miracle product. Through effective testing we can learn levels of terpenes and cannabinoids to better medicate and improve upon negative health issues. We will also be able to learn about the bad things like mycotoxins or metal leaching which can lead to numerous negative health effects and even death.
Cannabis has taken the nation by storm and is beginning to transition away from being known as a holistic medicine. Pushing the barrier with standardized testing will not only help the patient but also help doctors effectively improve the health of the patient by knowing which cannabis product produces which result.
This is a great time to be in the cannabis industry in Oklahoma due to other states being in the canna-biz longer to allow us the opportunity to improve upon their standards. I urge you to take notice of our testing standards and asking “What else can cannabis improve?"
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