Will California Lose It’s Cannabis Testing Labs?

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In early April 2015, The WERC Shop, a Cannabis testing lab in Pasadena, California, was raided by local police. The reasoning behind the raid was the alleged production of concentrated hash oil at the facility. 28 people were detained, and two were arrested. What was the most interesting fact of this case was that even though some municipalities in California require Cannabis be tested, these labs are not protected nor legal. In an blog from SFGate:

The legality of California’s analytical cannabis labs — which test medical marijuana for potency and pathogens — is subject to dispute. They are not specifically legalized under Proposition 215 or SB 420, and operators could be subjected to federal or state charges for handling marijuana, depending on the jurisdiction. But several California cities mandate cannabis be tested at such labs before being sold to patients.

The legality of extraction labs hinges on a California Appellate Court ruling which criminalizes cannabis extraction using butane, but allows for extraction using inflammable solvents like water.

So what does this mean for Prop 215 medical patients in California? Does this mean the remaining labs, are going to pack up and leave, out of fear of getting shut down, and having equipment stolen, damaged, or destroyed? 

Testing labs are incredibly important in the MMJ field. While some offer less than quality results, a few labs are on the cutting edge of technology, and are really giving us incredibly important information about what is in the plants we consume. If this is “medical” and these labs are conducting procedural studies to help provide patients with relevant information about their medicines, who are the local police to stop them? Since when are cops and prosecutors doctors and scientists?

California needs to figure out something to help keep testing labs in our state, and how to make sure they continue to be able to operate. In a time where we need job creation, why are we allowing the budding cannabis industry to continue to be attacked using tax payer funds, while effectively putting more people out of work, as well as driving potential work out of state?

Keep our cannabis testing labs open! Know what’s in your grow!

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Author: Beth

Beth is a cannabis writer for HMJ as well as co-host of "Fired Up" by HMJ with Lenny G, and Duney Kush, every Thurs from 3-5PM PST on DFZadio.com She is a prop 215 MMJ patient, living in the Los Angeles area.

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