ASTM International Cannabis Committee Launches New Subcommittee, Responds to U.S. Senate Request

PENNSYLVANIA: ASTM International’s cannabis committee (D37) has launched a new subcommittee aimed at supporting the exchange of cannabis information and knowledge between global policymakers, regulators, scientists, and the general public.

“With a patchwork of regulations across state, federal, and international levels, this subcommittee will be valuable to industry and government stakeholders as a means to collaborate,” notes David Vaillencourt, current chair of the new government liaison subcommittee (D37.92). “It’s really going to facilitate dialogue that will be key as we look ahead to a global marketplace in the coming years.”

Recently, at the request of the U.S. Senate, the cannabis committee’s executive subcommittee provided public comment on the proposed Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. The subcommittee shared key information on ASTM International’s cannabis efforts, including:

    • the history and scope of the cannabis committee,
    • committee organization and subcommittee structure,
    • broad membership information,
    • definitions of cannabis terms,
    • published standards related to cannabis facilities, consumer safety, and more.

The committee invites participation in the development of its standards. To learn more about cannabis committee participation and membership, visit www.astmcannabis.org.

ASTM International is a not-for-profit nongovernmental organization that develops voluntary consensus standards and defers to appropriate government authorities to determine the legal and regulatory framework regarding the control and use of cannabis.

Pesticide, Herbicide Use By Pot Growers Raises Safety Concerns

COLORADO:   Microscopic bugs and mildew can destroy a marijuana operation faster than any police raid. And because the crop has been illegal for so long, neither growers nor scientists have any reliable research to help fight the infestations.

As legal marijuana moves from basements and backwoods to warehouses and commercial fields, the mold and spider mites that once ruined only a few plants at a time can now quickly create a multimillion-dollar crisis for growers. Some are turning to industrial-strength chemicals, raising concerns about safety.

Pesticides and herbicides are regulated by the federal government, which still regards almost all marijuana as an illicit crop, so there’s no roadmap to help pot farmers. Chemists and horticulturalists can’t offer much assistance either. They sometimes disagree about how to combat the problem, largely because the plant is used in many different ways — smoked, eaten and sometimes rubbed on the skin.

“We have an industry that’s been illegal for so many years that there’s no research. There’s no guidelines. There’s nothing,” said Frank Conrad, lab director for Colorado Green Lab, a pot-testing lab in Denver.

Too Restrictive? Marijuana Labs Raise Concerns About Massachusetts Lead Regulations

MASSACHUSETTS:  The state’s first medical marijuana dispensary is expected to open in Salem later this month. But it may not have any actual dried marijuana for sale.

The main problem: lead.

“To date,  every sample of cannabis that we have tested for heavy metals, particularly lead, would fail the existing regulations ,” said Chris Hudalla, the chief scientific officer at ProVerde Laboratories, one of two marijuana testing facilities in Massachusetts.

Hudalla says plants are failing because the state’s lead standard is unreasonably restrictive.

 

What Exactly Are You Smoking? Determination Of Pesticide Residues In Cannabis Smoke

CALIFORNIA:  The present study was conducted in order to quantify to what extent cannabis consumers may be exposed to pesticide and other chemical residues through inhaled mainstream cannabis smoke.

Three different smoking devices were evaluated in order to provide a generalized data set representative of pesticide exposures possible for medical cannabis users. Three different pesticides, bifenthrin, diazinon, and permethrin, along with the plant growth regulator paclobutrazol, which are readily available to cultivators in commercial products, were investigated in the experiment. Smoke generated from the smoking devices was condensed in tandem chilled gas traps and analyzed with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Recoveries of residues were as high as 69.5% depending on the device used and the component investigated, suggesting that the potential of pesticide and chemical residue exposures to cannabis users is substantial and may pose a significant toxicological threat in the absence of adequate regulatory frameworks. [Read more…]

What Exactly Are You Smoking? Determination Of Pesticide Residues In Cannabis Smoke

CALIFORNIA:  The present study was conducted in order to quantify to what extent cannabis consumers may be exposed to pesticide and other chemical residues through inhaled mainstream cannabis smoke.

Three different smoking devices were evaluated in order to provide a generalized data set representative of pesticide exposures possible for medical cannabis users. Three different pesticides, bifenthrin, diazinon, and permethrin, along with the plant growth regulator paclobutrazol, which are readily available to cultivators in commercial products, were investigated in the experiment. Smoke generated from the smoking devices was condensed in tandem chilled gas traps and analyzed with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Recoveries of residues were as high as 69.5% depending on the device used and the component investigated, suggesting that the potential of pesticide and chemical residue exposures to cannabis users is substantial and may pose a significant toxicological threat in the absence of adequate regulatory frameworks. [Read more…]