Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Testing May Be Newest Area to Come Under Fire

A recent Los Angeles Times article looks at the industry of testing marijuana to determine if it is medical quality and opines that this may be the next area of the Los Angeles medical marijuana industry to take heat from the government.

Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers understand that medical marijuana testing, while unregulated, is important to ensure this industry is viewed as legitimate by others throughout the state.
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Ever since voters in 1996 overwhelmingly said they wanted medical marijuana as an available option for those with ailments and illnesses, the industry has had many detractors. Soon, government officials became involved in the process of trying to put more pressure on medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives.

According to the news article, private labs that test marijuana are a new industry in California, one that uses the high-pressure liquid chromatograph to determine what ingredients or contaminants may be in the samples. Dozens have opened in recent years to try to test what is inside this form of medicine.

The idea around the industry is that because marijuana dispensaries often post their menus online, where licensed users can shop to get the most potent form of marijuana for the money they’re spending, these dispensaries should have proof to show what’s inside their weed. Because pharmaceutical companies are required to undergo testing and prove the amount of ingredients in their pills, the marijuana industry should as well.

However, because all marijuana possession is illegal under federal law — which contradicts California state law — these labs, too, are vulnerable for prosecution, just like growers and dispensaries. The newspaper reports that a lab in Colorado attempted to get a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration and was raided by federal agents.

The same week, Los Angeles city leaders told dispensaries they had to test their marijuana by independent labs that were also certified, though it’s unclear who is supposed to provide certification. Also, there are no federal standards for what level of pesticides are allowable in marijuana, as it’s considered contraband.

Some of these lab workers have banded together to form an association in an attempt to create guidelines, standards and methods. They are hopeful, the newspaper reports, of advancing the science of their work to include figuring out how marijuana actually produces its physiological and psychological effects on users.

Many in the medical marijuana industry will welcome these new developments, as it could be another step toward legitimizing this field in the minds of those who are opposed to it. At the same time, with labs largely unregulated themselves, putting stock in the results they produce could be difficult.

These are the growing pains of a fairly new industry. Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers are fully prepared to represent those involved in this growing field, whether businesses or users. As law enforcement officers attempt to make arrests and federal authorities try to crack down, these people require sound legal advice and representation.

The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles, throughout Orange County and elsewhere throughout Southern California. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

California Medical Marijuana Supporters Aim For Ballot Initiative: February 9, 2012
Additional Resources:

Testing pot in a legal vacuum, by Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times