Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MMJ testing is no science

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

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The other day, the Denver Post took a look at the enjoyable art form that is medical marijuana testing in Colorado. And an art form it is, because there's no way to scientifically calibrate the testing equipment, and there's no way to obtain certification through the Drug Enforcement Administration, since the DEA holds certain hostile attitudes toward those interacting with Schedule I controlled substances.

Still, centers and scientists alike soldier on, as patients and lawmakers alike clamor for some sort of medicinal clarity.

No one — including [Ean] Seeb — is abandoning the goal of a system that provides detailed analysis of a strain's potency and chemical makeup, which medical-marijuana advocates say will help patients make better-informed decisions. But dispensary owners and patients have begun to note that the current system is less than perfect.

"We're not using the same standards from lab to lab," said Frank Quattrone, the owner of Pure Medical Dispensary in Denver and a supporter of testing.

Different techniques among the state's four labs account for only part of the variations, said Buckie Minor of Full Spectrum Labs, the state's first cannabis-testing lab. Potency can vary within marijuana crops, individual plants and even between subsections of the buds.

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