In 1997, The Office of National Drug Control Policy commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a comprehensive study of the medical efficacy of cannabis therapeutics. The IOM concluded that cannabis is a safe and effective medicine, patients should have access, and the government should expand avenues for research and drug development.
The federal government has completely ignored its findings and refused to act on its recommendations.
The production, processing, and oversight of medical cannabis in California currently straddles a line between pharmaceutical and food product. Although cannabis is used to treat several conditions of patients who are gravely ill, it is produced in a manner closer to growing strawberries than to producing medication.
No medical, pharmaceutical, food or dairy products leave testing to the producers or vendors of these products. Why? The answer is obvious. Credibility. In contrast, 3rd party testing is reliable in a way that “self monitoring” can never be.
Currently, even the most basic safety and quality assurance practices are not required for Medical Marijuana. In response, several municipalities are developing ordinances that require dispensaries to have their products tested. Some dispensaries test their medicine “in house”. This is a uniquely limited model when compared to either the pharmaceutical or food industries. If each dispensary chooses to test all of its’ own products, then the door is open for dispensaries to manufacture results or, even among the most well meaning of dispensaries, make mistakes.
Alternatively, testing Cannabis using an accreditted and certified third party agency would verify competence, prevent bias, and establish credibility. Each dispensary can then distribute medicine with the assurance that it has been certified as safe for consumption. Consistent with it’s primary mission, a dispensary can empower its patients to make the correct choices in their medicine specific to their needs.
MINT is partnered with SC Laboratories , and endorses Steep Hill Halent Labs.