And I mean safe in terms of sanitary, free from harmful pesticides and life-threatening bacterium such as e-coli, and, in the case of producing concentrated doses of the drug, deadly toxins from the production process.
According to a recent article by the Associated Press, Colorado is the current test case.
With less than a year to go before pot sales become legal in that state and with no backup provided by the federal government, the safety and efficacy of the product is up to state regulators. This would include making sure that no banned pesticides used are used to keep the plants pest-free, that there are no sanitation concerns surrounding how it’s grown, and that agricultural problems like molds and mildew don’t create contamination concerns.
One of the problems states that opt to legalize weed will have to face is how to categorize marijuana in order to decide what governing body regulates it, since it can be both smoked, like tobacco, and eaten, like an herb. According to the article, “Colorado currently copies tobacco pesticide regulations to apply to medical marijuana. But regulators rejected a proposal to certify “organic” pot grown without any pesticides, leaving consumers with no way to verify organic processing claims.”
Unless the federal government legalizes marijuana, it will continue to be up to states to determine how to go forward to ensure that the product that eventually reaches consumers is safe.