According to New Frontier Data CEO Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, North American cannabis producers must take drastic measures in order to reduce contamination of their products by potentially dangerous chemical pesticides. Speaking at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference last week, de Carcer told the crowd that the only way to increase consumer safety is to address the problem head on, referencing a report from a California testing facility last year that revealed around 84 percent of flower product tested was found to contain pesticides.
"When we talk about people taking cannabis for medicinal use, we probably should do something about that," de Carcer told attendees. "Those are troublesome figures."
Pesticide exposure, especially through smoking combusted cannabis flower, can be extremely dangerous, especially for medical patients who may already have compromised immunity. Side effects may include trouble breathing, nausea, fatigue, headache, rash and long-term exposure could lead to organ damage, stroke, and even cancer.
California began mandatory testing of cannabis for pesticides on July 1st with one study conducted a month into the new regulations finding 1 in 5 samples failing. The state has already seen several recalls, including two by concentrate company Bloom Brands. Prior to that, nearly $300 million of newly non-compliant cannabis products had to be destroyed, leading to huge losses for dispensary owners and producers.
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