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Friday, August 14, 2015

Marijuana Meets The 21st Century

As the legal marijuana industry continues to flourish in the United States, those involved are bringing the gray world of marijuana into the 21st Century. Marijuana businesses in states that have adopted both medical and recreational use programs have begun incorporating technology into the industry, CBS News reports. Enhancements in marijuana testing available to distributors and the introduction of smartphone delivery apps may be the beginning of what the future of marijuana looks like.

It would seem that the development of standards, much like the alcohol industry, would legitimize the field - essentially bringing marijuana out of the dark. Delivery apps will allow consumers to rate their experience with a particular medical marijuana dispensary, according to the article. Arguably, advancements in marijuana testing would give users the feeling of consistency and shine a light on what they are actually consuming.

“As things have come above board and more financing has become available and companies become less threatened that they would be put out of business, they have been more willing to invest in technology that is making cannabis products safer and more effective,” said Donald P. Land, a University of California, Davis, professor who is the chief scientific consultant for the cannabis testing firm Steep Hill.

“The main result of introducing testing to cannabis has been a legitimization of cannabis as a medicine,” Land said. “Prior to that time, nobody knew what they were purchasing or using. Since that time, it’s widely recognized that there are many different types of cannabis that lead to very different medicinal effects. The differences can only be discovered by doing chemical or genetic testing.”

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia - an industry that serves millions of “patients.” If the industry is going to survive, rules and regulations on what is safe is of the utmost importance.

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It is important to remember the dangers that can accompany marijuana use with regard to addiction and driving under the influence. Minimizing the exposure of marijuana to minors is crucial; research suggests that the drug can impact developing brains.

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