Because of the lack of regulation in Spain, the weed is sh*tty. Literally.
A study done by a group of researchers in the country found that the packaging that marijuana comes in happens to be covered in feces.
The team at Forensic Science International found that 88 percent of the bags they collected had some feces on them. This alarmed the scientists, as fecal matter can carry dangerous diseases and germs like E. coli. Once a person touches the plastic goodie bags, they can then transfer even more problematic particles to your eyes, nose or mouth.
This fecal matter arrives on the plastic bags when it is transported, as drug smugglers will ingest small baggies to travel with and then use a laxative to get them out.
This poopy situation comes from an illegal smuggling method that doesn’t have to be the reality.
As legalization becomes more and more widespread, regulation will follow, which will hopefully make occurrences like the one mentioned above obsolete.
Cannabis’ Eventual Date With The FDA
In order to do so, cannabis will need to see a day of reckoning with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Considered a significant milestone in the development of American society, the FDA is the governing body in the United States that deal with the regulation of, you guessed it, food and drugs.
During its early days, the FDA ushered in the labels that you see on nearly every piece of food, standards of cleanliness, ingredients, and practices around the food industry not only shaped how we operated our lives and what we expect with each purchase.
Hundreds of years ago, people played a game of chance with the food and drugs they got, never knowing exactly what’s inside or what was used to make it. Now, many pro-cannabis advocates are saying that they are facing the same dilemmas by not regulating marijuana.
The FDA currently views marijuana as an illegal drug, as that is how federal law designates it, and yet over half the country has some form of legalized marijuana. Most of these states have marijuana that is legal for medicinal purposes, adding greater weight when talking about weed that could have poop on it.
The group has currently set May 31, 2019 aside so administrators at the FDA can hold a public hearing and find a way to “inform the regulatory path forward” and “for stakeholders to share their experiences and challenges with products containing cannabis.”
Smokers Aren’t The Only Ones Affected
The lack of regulations doesn’t just affect the smoker, as Sean Khalepari, the Regulatory Affairs Coordinator for Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a group dedicated to medical marijuana, pointed out to The Stash.
“Without proper regulations, workers are at risk of inappropriate and unsafe exposure to toxic or otherwise hazardous chemicals (e.g., pesticides, solvents), and there may be an increased risk for workplace accidents, such as explosions caused by improper handling of solvents or failure to appropriately inspect and maintain extraction equipment,” Khalepari said. “Improper storage, handling, or disposal of farm or processing materials (e.g., fuel, pesticides, solvents) could lead to environmental degradation. Cannabis and cannabis products may be contaminated with pesticides and residual solvents, heavy metals, and mold or microbes that could pose a risk to patients and consumers, especially immunocompromised individuals.”
The ASA is one of the many pro-marijuana groups that see problems in not knowing where your weed comes from. However, the most recent headlines about regulation and weed come with the CBD debate.
The CBD Confusion
Since the FDA has not done very much research into CBD (Cannabidiol) being mixed into food, they are considering it to be unsafe to do so. Hemp products, including most CBD products, were legalized by Congress in December 2018, meaning that the young CBD industry is still finding shape.
But, three states, including New York are cracking down on CBD food, as officials have no idea if it’s safe. Now CBD sellers are asking the FDA to begin looking into CBD and creating some form of regulations so they can keep selling.
Benjamin Witte, the creator of a CBD seltzer, told CNBC that this fight is similar to Uber when it first started. No one knows where they fit.
Part of this confusion is the problem that ties the whole cannabis industry together: the lack of legalization at the federal level.
Legalization Is The Answer To Everything
Without full federal legalization, state officials and businesses are left at a standstill. State officials end up following federal laws, which causes problems for those involved in cannabis or CBD. As companies face the effects, advocates become angry and the finger on who is at fault begins to be pointed around.
Luckily, most advocates see this time as a necessary growing period, in which everyone involved will get a chance to figure out what works. With the legalization of cannabis and cannabis products becoming more widespread, advocates believe that the government’s hands will be forced and that the data on cannabis and CBD will back up their claims.
And while the CBD industry will soon face its tests with the FDA, regular marijuana still needs a little bit of help in the regulation department.
Khalepari of the ASA believes that “A broad range of regulations will be needed, but from a patient and consumer safety standpoint, the most important regulations are those that relate to cultivation, processing, testing, labeling, and distribution. Smart, strong regulations that mandate quality assurance and control measures, laboratory testing, and product recall protocols help to ensure that cannabis and cannabis products are produced, packaged, stored, transported, and sold according to standards that have been established to protect the health and safety of workers, patients, and consumers as well as the environment.”
States like California, and places like Canada, are having to learn on the go as they figure out what to do with cannabis. News laws are constantly being added to make sure that if cannabis is set on becoming one of the premier industries of the future, that it has a foundation to do so.