White Papers


Pesticide Testing

Pesticide use on Cannabis is extraordinarily widespread, but also entirely unregulated. Federal pesticide laws make it clearly illegal for most pesticides to be used on anything other than the precise crops they have been registered for. With a group of academic and industrial toxicologists we have assembled a list of natural pesticides that we hope will protect the consumer while at the same time giving growers the tools they need to grow healthy crops in a legal manner. We also specify a list of reasonable testing targets for Cannabis testing labs.

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Microbiology Testing

A comprehensive document covering every possible microbiological organism of concern on Cannabis, written with a large group of plant scientists and food-safety microbiologists from McGill University, Duke University, and Harvard Medical School. Special emphasis is placed on the only serious pathogen associated with Cannabis smoking: Aspergillus.    

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 Heavy Metals

Years of application of arsenic-based pesticides has left soil contaminated in many agricultural regions that are now home to Cannabis production. These and other toxic heavy metals have been shown to be taken up by Cannabis plants, and it is critical that regions with this kind of risk implement testing programs. This white paper is an overview of the subject, with general testing recommendations, co-authored by toxicologists specializing in contamination of the food chain.

 Laboratory Standards

Cannabis safety testing is now a significant industry in this country, but it lacks the regulatory structures that any other type of lab testing would be subject to. The goal of this white paper is to provide a framework for that structure that is straightforward for states to implement and manage, and will guarantee that testing results are consistent and reliable. Co-authors include Peter Unger, the Chair of ILAC (the international body that accredits the national agencies that themselves accredit testing labs), and Farukh Khambaty, a microbiologist with many years of experience directing safety programs at both the FDA and the NIH.

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