Here’s an unpleasant story — in Washington State there are questions about whether cannabis producers are cheating on the samples they send to testing labs.
Certain Washington cannabis producers have been accused of “spiking” their testing samples with extra hash and kief to increase the THC content listed in their testing data. Growers receive a higher fee for their crop if they have a higher THC percentage, which provides an incentive for test tampering. Some crops have been reported to have THC content of 30-40%, an impossibly high number. Another possibility is that the producers are cherry-picking the product sent to labs – the best buds get inspected, but don’t reflect the rest of the crop. The Washington State Liquor Board has started a new “secret shopper” type program, testing retail cannabis at an independent lab to ensure the accuracy of the testing data.
Randy Simmons, marijuana project director for the state, believes some cannabis producers are manipulating their samples before handing them over to a lab for inspection. There is a broad suspicion this is being done by spraying the test product with hash oil or dipping it in ‘kief’ – a powder derived from the buds of the marijuana plant. Both actions will boost the traceable amounts of THC. There is also thinking that growers are cherry-picking the very best buds to send off for inspection, again helping to produce a THC number that doesn’t reflect that of the overall crop.
“Part of the issue is right now we leave it up to the growers to produce the sample to the lab and I’m not sure that is what we want to do,” said Mr. Simmons.
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[image: Google images “cannabis in Washington”]
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