Colorado State University Cannabis Program Under Fire for Unpopular & Unnatural Research
Other than water, there’s nothing that you can say that you spray on cannabis either while it is growing or after it is chopped that is going to excite us.
You can keep your Eagle20 OG and your Pesticide Piff, they call it a weed for a reason and if you need a bunch of chemicals to make it grow you might be in the wrong business.
Legal cannabis markets are mandating strict third party laboratory testing on cannabis to ensure that consumers are not ingesting non-natural additives, or microscopic mold spores, or worse. An entire harvest can be recalled and forced to be destroyed if a specific sample fails this analysis which, in theory, is training cannabis cultivators at all levels to clean up their act and put down their garden sprayers.
Meanwhile, as we slowly inch toward federal cannabis reform, higher learning institutions in cannabis-friendly states like Colorado have begun to buck the age-old fear of federal intervention and created labs of their own to research and study this fascinating plant.
Much of the cannabis ‘science’ that we have relied on for our entire lives has been rooted in stories and anecdotes from people we know, cultivated around fire pit smoke seshes as we all tried to figure out exactly what we were feeling.
To think of what could be accomplished at a university lab by a dedicated team of researchers has us so optimistic for the future of weed… then we get a story like this.
The Institute of Cannabis Research (ICR) was established in 2016 by Colorado State University – Pueblo, Pueblo County, and the state of Colorado. The ICR is the nation’s first multi-disciplinary cannabis research center at a regional, comprehensive institution.
According to their homepage, “The primary function of the Institute is the generation of knowledge that contributes to science, medicine, and society through investigation of the benefits and risks associated with cannabis. Research findings are used to translate discoveries into innovative applications that improve lives.”
Along with mandated lab testing standards, the states making the jump to legalizing recreational cannabis are also employing some form of “seed-to-sale” track and trace programs into the framework of their regulations.
These systems, often digital in nature, are meant – we are told – to ensure that weed grown legally in one state does not get diverted to a different, illegal market. If a farmer harvests 50 pounds and puts it into the track and trace program when he hands it over to a distributor, then 50 pounds of weed better arrive at licensed retailers and re-entered into the program or there will be a problem.
It is also a way for regulatory agencies to guarantee that the cannabis flowing through the system was handled by legal, licensed entities at every stage of the supply chain.
In reality, the biggest interest that these agencies have in track and trace is that it ensures that they get to stick their grubby palms into the process early and often to collect taxes from growers, taxes from sellers, and taxes from consumers.
Now, instead of unlocking the mysteries of the plant to create a perfectly balanced cannabinoid profile for specific ailments… or something… the Institute of Cannabis Research in Colorado is trying to come up with a new, more fluid, form of track and trace.
Their plan is to introduce a non-cannabis-native isotope to young cannabis and hemp plants that would then allow any progeny of that particular plant to be easily traced back to the original mother. The Institute has been very secretive of the research, successfully denying multiple requests for more information. They do claim that this project could potentially be used across multiple industries, not just cannabis, and that has many from the marijuana field feeling ripped off by what they see as a waste of taxpayer dollars for something that nobody has asked for or wants.
Somehow we have had a beautiful relationship with the plant for over 5,000 years, now suddenly you put some white hair and starched suits in the middle and we need to start injecting our weed with tracking isotopes? Get the fuck outta here with that.
“Cannabis tax dollars should be spent on researching the efficacy of cannabis, not on research and development for the private sector to profit,” Peter Marcus, spokesman for Terrapin Care Station, a recreational and medical marijuana chain based in Boulder, Colorado told the Denver Post.
The spotlight shining on this unpopular project has brought a skeptical eye upon the entire program at ICR, including by two of its original founders who are not stoked with what they are seeing. The Institute was founded with the intention of enrolling students, growing the faculty, and becoming a premiere campus for higher education about the cannabis plant.
Dr. Malik Hasan was one of those founding figures, having donated a quarter million dollars from his own money to get the ICR off the ground. “They’ve got all this money coming in, they’re hiring people and giving themselves salaries, but no syllabus, no attempt at enrollment,” said Hasan, adding, “An institute without any education and without any research students or any students there is a hollow institution.”
Instead, the ICR is in real jeopardy of losing its state funding which in turn would cancel any opportunity for federal funding, both essential streams for any potential future for the program in Pueblo.
The ICR states on its website that it is doing real research, listing eight separate projects involving the cannabis plant – from treating seizures with cannabis to the practical applications of industrial hemp – but it all seems a bit hazy considering they only have five faculty members… and one of them is an office manager… and the fact that they neglect to mention the isotope tracking program… at all.
There is an absolute shitload of funding flooding into cannabis right now and just like in any industry, there will surely be some profiteers in it for the wrong reasons.
If the Feds really want a simple answer to alleged diversion and black market sales we can break it down to just two words: