Currently, Uncle Ike’s, one of the busiest marijuana retailers in Seattle, Washington, is tackling a major step toward private experimentation. Recently, store representatives announced Ike’s would be launching a program that will randomly test shelf products for toxins (e.g. pesticides and heavy metals) and removed these items from shelves if they are found to be unhealthy. Labeled “Ike’s OK,” the project aims to serve as another barrier in Washington State’s testing regimen, which does not include an inspection for pesticides in marijuana. On a monthly, basis Uncle Ike’s will take five products and pay for laboratory testing. So what are the ultimate outcomes of this program? Let’s take a closer look and find out how this Seattle-based store is tackling this major problem.
According to journalist Tobias Coughlin-Bogue, a recent study conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) from March 2017 to July 2018 found that 43% of tested marijuana contained shockingly unhealthy levels of pesticides. Given the fact that test rates fail at 30 to 40%, consumers are most likely ingesting cannabis laced with illegal pesticides. According to Coughlin-Bogue, one large solution to the problem is randomized testing by small retailers, something Uncle Ike’s is hoping to achieve.
At this time, the Seattle store is only testing cannabis products that can be inhaled (like flower rolls and vape cartridges), and the entire process will only cost $2,000. As part of the program, the store plans to post the final test results on its website to establish transparency with customers. Ike’s will only carry products if they have demonstrated compliance with pesticide testing.
Ethics and Standards
Although this program is starting at Uncle Ike’s, the team in control of the project is hopeful that this process will gain popularity in the near-future. Ultimately, the goal is to set high standards in the budding marijuana industry and encourage big name companies to conduct independent testing, as well, to ensure the safety and well-being of consumers.
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