LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Whether it’s medicinal or recreational, cannabis has to be treated with care. 13 Investigates exposes what could crop up and what’s being done to test for tainted THC.
Cannabis users are consuming marijuana in food, drinks, lotions, vapes and smokes with new products on the market all the time. Before pot was legal, drug dealers didn’t care much about product safety. But now, state leaders have a mission to ensure what you’re buying from the dispensary shelf is safe.
‘GC mass-spec, triple-quad’ is a high-tech term of the science trade you might not associate with marijuana.
“It is very fancy. This instrument costs around $400,000,” says Dr. Cindy Orser, chief science officer with DigipathLabs which tests all manner of marijuana to make sure weed in all its forms is safe.
“Safe from pesticide contamination, safe from heavy metal contamination, safe from microbial contamination,” says Todd Denkin, founder and CEO at DigipathLabs.
In February, one of Denver’s largest dispensaries recalled pre-rolled joints after a state investigation into a complaint of illness. It found the product in question contained potentially unsafe levels of yeast and mold. Colorado is also looking at pesticides in pot.
“Pesticides, you don’t want to be breathing them in, and most cannabis products are inhaled,” said Denkin.
There are about ten cannabis labs in the state. Denkin says pesticides are rarely a problem in Nevada.
“The biggest problem that we see is really from a microbial standpoint. Those are the most fails,” Denkin said.
Mold is of particular concern for medical marijuana users.
“They don’t want any mold or any yeast or any aspergillus or any microbial in there that can make them even sicker,” said Denkin.
Following state standards, Digipath tests for 24 different pesticides, plus e-coli, and salmonella.