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Investigators Find High Levels of Pesticides in California Medical Marijuana

Unlike other legal weed states, California does not yet have regulations for pesticide levels.

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Several California marijuana dispensaries are pulling products off their shelves after many products tested positive for pesticide contamination during an investigation by a Los Angeles TV network. The state's Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation has promised that regulations to address these issues will be in place by the end of the year.

NBC-4's I-Team purchased 44 different marijuana products from Southern California dispensaries and sent them to cannabis testing firm Steep Hill Laboratories. Around 93% of these samples contained concentrations of pesticides that exceeded safety limits in other states that had legalized marijuana. Oregon, Colorado, and Nevada already have very strict regulations limiting the amount of pesticides that can be used when cultivating cannabis. California currently has no such regulations.

“I think the goal of California is to make sure the public and patients have safe cannabis and so I think it is important that we test the product and that we’re testing for pesticides,” Lori Ajax, director of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, said. “All cannabis will need to be tested before it is passed on to the dispensary to be sold at retail.”

The new regulations are expected to take effect by January 1st, 2018, and will cover both recreational and medical marijuana.