As the phrase goes, “you get what you get, and you don’t get upset.” But is this really the truth when it comes to cannabis?
With competition increasing along with compliance demands across American states, so too are methods that producers use to get ahead of the competition—even if this means willingly misinforming consumers on what they are purchasing.
The problems with THC inflation aren’t limited to the reported THC content of cannabis products, either. After all, if a producer is willing to misinform on THC content, there is little stopping them from underreporting heavy metals, pesticides, trace solvents, or other harmful byproducts of the cannabis refinement process.
Today, we’ll look at the underbelly of the cannabis testing market and how equitable testing is the only way to mature compliant cannabis markets effectively.
Why Would a Producer Misinform Customers?
There’s no denying it—across Arizona, and elsewhere, competition is tight. Finding ways to edge out the competition through more attractive marketing and lower margins is a task that many businesses have been forced to contemplate. Sadly, for users, the answers these producers land on are not always ethical.
Being able to advertise a higher cannabis content than your product contains means elevating your product above others who are locked into their present seed lineage. Furthermore, in keeping margins the same, you are advertising better value at a lower cost than the competition, making you a more attractive choice for the consumer on the dispensary floor.
Additionally, you are cutting down on your production costs by skipping out on lab testing or only testing at labs with limited and price-reduced services. Some producers will even insist that the products that are tested through solvent or butane analysis are returned and sold along with the consumer packaged goods!
While illicit products are not the norm, recent increases in misreported products illustrate how a proactive system is best for ensuring customers receive what they need. When you consider carrying, purchasing from, or enjoying a new cannabis brand, it never hurts to research their current practices. Producers that proudly list their cGMP-certified extraction or testing partners are a significant first step in ensuring the product is of the highest quality and has undergone stringent testing measures.
The Lab Shopping Process
When producers are chasing favorable results first and accuracy second, they may engage in a practice known as “lab shopping.” Through lab shopping, a cannabis producer will send samples to various labs and choose the results that best fit the image they want to promote. This could be leveraging the minute differences in THC content to advertise a higher percentage or even choosing to test at labs that cannot test for particles the producer is trying to hide.
Lab shopping reduces market innovation by rewarding lazy players and also clouds consumer judgment when it comes to purchasing the products that are best for them.
You wouldn’t want to buy expired foods, and the same should go for cannabis products. Luckily, the Arizona Department of Health and Safety compliance systems provide a safety strong net for catching these products before they are ever carried by reputable suppliers like NatureMed.
There are numerous producers who are chasing high-potency breeds while optimizing and maintaining exciting flavors. However, this innovation is matched by an equal force of unscrupulous growers who are looking to edge out the competition through questionable strategies.
Nature Med is committed to improving consumer awareness and market equitability. While competition is fierce, cannabis producers should never settle for anything less than total transparency in their product lineup and innovation strategy. The Arizona Department of Health and Safety (AZDHS) requires companies to fully test all products, and Nature Med always complies with state requirements. Additionally, by state law, all test results are available for all products in their dispensary. Just ask us, and we’ll provide all of the testing details of your cannabis products.