Tom Vega: Marijuana testing facilities

Published: 1/16/2022 6:20:14 PM
Modified: 1/16/2022 6:19:11 PM

This letter is in response to the Dec. 31 article titled, “Deerfield to negotiate host community agreement with cannabis testing lab.” Deerfield should cease and desist any negotiations with marijuana testing facilities. Let me explain why.

First, let’s address some incredibly ill-advised comments made by the Selectboard members regarding STEM education. What this board is in effect allowing is an often collusive and disinformative testing industry to not only plant even more roots in our small town but to recruit our local kids into an industry that contributes daily to mental and physical problems like anxiety, depression, suicidal ideations, and cancer. Marijuana use is increasingly being linked to significant increases in a person’s risk for schizophrenia.

Testing gives our loved ones the illusion of product safety and false confidence resulting in 300,000 people seeking marijuana addiction treatment every year. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission claims $1.2 million in fines in their annual report and the public has no idea what for. There are zero testing standards anywhere for potency, pesticides, added ingredients, or labeling and testing labs literally make up their own.

Massachusetts publishes next to zero in useful lab testing data and negative outcomes. I have personally tried, and so has the Massachusetts Addiction Prevention Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act, to force the Cannabis Control Commission to release marijuana lab testing data. Massachusetts law requires all cannabis products to go through potency analysis and contaminant testing from a licensed cannabis testing laboratory before it can be sold, but no such data has ever been made available to the public.

I’ve co-authored bills for the House and Senate that would mandate the transparency and release of dispensary lab testing data.

Tom Vega

South Deerfield


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