Testing Marijuana for Pesticides, continued

Here are new proposed testing regulations in California — but now I follow up on a recent post, where I said that while detecting cheating in folks who test marijuana for THC might be tricky, detecting cheating in folks who test marijuana for pesticides would be a snap. Just see if follow-up testing detected any pesticides; if so, start worrying.

But a chemist friend lets me know that there is more to it:

+++++

I differ in the pesticide opinion at the end of the article.

In science, there is no ‘zero’, there is only ‘less than’ or ‘not detected’.

Insects have completely different metabolic systems than mammals and humans in particular. Even mammals have very different metabolic systems.

For example chocolate can kill a dog, but humans eat it by the pound.

Table salt dissolves a slug, but we swim in the ocean without harm.

It is a far, inaccurate reach to say that all pesticides are harmful when in fact, many are comparatively inert to humans when compared with items we eat and touch every day.

Glyphosate (Roundup) is less toxic than table salt or vinegar.

Abamectin breaks down in 45 days.

The pesticide testing specifications in [state] are not only government over-reach, but scientifically unsound.

They literally based their failure specs on the lowest level detectable by instrumentation available. Unfortunately, while a pesticide may be detected (qualified) at that level, quantification at that level is plus/minus 30% error. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of crop or product wasted by seriously flawed science. Worst of all, the failure specification isn’t related to toxicity at all.

While we should be encouraging outdoor farming, cannabis growers in OR have lost entire crops because a neighboring grass seed farmer or grape farmer or hazelnut farmer sprayed their crops. Those crops go to market with no qualms, even in the Organic sector, but the cannabis fails. Baseless inequity.

Don’t even get me started on the fact that all these cannabis businesses are at the mercy of labs who may not be ‘that great’ at testing the 60+ pesticides on the list at ultra-trace levels.

Anyway, we’re busy here in [state]. The market is evolving, more products are coming on, prices are dropping.

Oh, and [state] is seriously considering dropping down the extreme pesticide testing requirements they passed because they may have just realized how ridiculous they are.

+++++

PO: I guess chemistry is like tax design architecture.  It’s easy to think you can understand more than you do understand.  Just slap a percentage tax onto some number.  It’s like:  Want a bridge?  Just throw a log over that creek.  (Primitive ≠ permanent.)

Meanwhile, to repeat myself, here are new proposed testing regulations in California — 46 pages of them. http://www.thecannifornian.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/MCRSA.Lab_.Text_.pdf

 

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Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

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