Heavy T: Was it a lack of scientific data for cannabis? There was a lot of hearsay, a lot of ‘folklore’ around medical cannabis. We knew that if you consumed cannabis, it had certain relief elements. But because it’s been federally illegal, we can’t get the big research behind it at universities and stuff you may see with other industries. With that lack, I’d think it would be something that would be noticeable to you. Josh S: Definitely. So when I was finishing up grad school, that’s when these issues were kinda put in front of my face. I started to see a lot of newspaper articles about analytical labs and the testing industry for cannabis. It was a pay-to-play market- anyone that wanted a high result for their flower, they wanted 38% flower, they’d just pay a lab extra money. It was almost a disrespect to the analytical testing industry and the cannabis industry at the same time, and that’s what I was focused on. I wanted to bring the right answers and try to connect the two sides.”
Skip to interview: 41:30
May 7, 2020
The coronavirus crisis has changed legal cannabis in fundamental ways that have yet to fully manifest.
One head-scratcher that seems to remain etched in stone is the industry’s long-standing status as basically a cash business.
And now, with several legislative initiatives catapulting to the head of the Congressional priority line (additional coronavirus stimulus packages), it seems like 2020 will be another year of the same for plant-touching entities.
I hope, dear reader, that the irony of this situation — where legal cannabis has been overwhelmingly deemed essential to the day-to-day function of this country — is not lost on you. It certainly isn’t lost on industry participants tired of being treated like second-class businesses.
“It truly is ironic — and ultimately hypercritical — that cannabis can be deemed essential and yet these businesses do not have the same financial avenues that almost every other industry does,” InfiniteCAL Co-founder/CEO Josh Swider says. “Beyond that, many people are now dependent on the legal cannabis supply chain to get medicinal products. The fact is the legal cannabis industry is an important piece of our overall economy that cannot be forgotten.”
Swider, who along with fellow chemist and Co-founder David Marelius heads up the executive team at the San Diego, CA-based analytical cannabis testing lab, reached out to discuss what he saw as glaring inequities being forced upon legal cannabis business operators.
The owner of a cannabis testing lab talks about the amount of pesticides and contaminates in black market cannabis
The Covid-19 scare is prompting people to move away from the black market cannabis. Josh Swider from Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs talks to Dan Humiston about the stringent testing that cannabis must pass before being approved for consumption and why legal cannabis is much safer than black market cannabis. He also discusses why it’s a bad idea to add Covid-19 testing to cannabis testing facilities.
Nearly 80% of Illicit-Market Vape Cartridges Collected During Buy-Back Program Were Unfit for Consumption
An illicit-market vape cartridge buy-back program set in motion by Platinum and Miramar, Calif.’s Mankind Dispensary has revealed that the majority of unregulated vapes collected are unfit for consumption.
During the month of September, Mankind’s customers were invited to turn in vape cartridges that had been purchased from sources other than a legal cannabis dispensary in exchange for a Platinum vape cartridge.
“Our partner, Platinum Vape, came to us and said, ‘We want to do something about this vape crisis and we want to learn a little bit more,’” John Butters, VP of Strategy for Mankind, tells Cannabis Business Times. “We had similar goals. We heard about some of the scary things that are out there in some of the illicit-market vapes and some of the problems they were causing, and we wanted to get an idea of how it was affecting our local community. So, we said yes, and we allowed customers to come down with any illicit market vape they had and [they] could trade it in with a small cost for a Platinum vape cart. There has to be a small cost for it to be legal.”
A San Diego, California cannabis testing lab is sounding the alarm after nearly 80 percent of illegal and counterfeit vape cartridges it tested were “unfit for consumption,” KGTV reports. The testing by Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs (InfiniteCAL) discovered 62 percent of cartridges failed for high pesticide levels, while 40 percent failed for lead.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there is no safe amount of lead for humans as the heavy metal negatively affects almost every organ and system in the body.
InfiniteCAL co-founder David Marelius told KGTV that one of the vape pens tested by the lab “had almost a hundred times the legal limit” of lead. Additionally, about 20 percent of the tested products “had a significant amount” of vitamin E acetate, which the Centers for Disease Control linked last year to the vaping-associated pulmonary injury.
A local marijuana testing lab is releasing vape test results that are alarming. Almost 80% of the cannabis vape cartridges were tested and deemed “unfit for consumption.”
Tucked away in a quiet San Diego business park, Platinum Vape manufacturing company produces high-potency, pesticide-free cannabis products that go through rigorous testing.
Co-founder George Sadler is on a mission to spread awareness about the serious potential health risks of using products from unlicensed vape makers and sellers.