Scientists say the government’s only pot farm has moldy samples — and no federal testing standards

BY CALEB HELLERMAN

A researcher in Dr. Sue Sisley's lab pours out a sample of marijuana it received from the federal facility responsible for growing marijuana for clinical research. When she received marijuana for a PTSD trial last year, Sisley says the packages contained mold and lead, and weren't as potent as she requested. Photo by Rebecca Matthews.

A researcher in Dr. Sue Sisley’s lab pours out a sample of marijuana produced by the federal facility responsible for growing cannabis for clinical research. When she received marijuana for a PTSD trial last year, Sisley says the packages contained mold and weren’t as potent as she requested. Photo courtesy of MAPS.

Sue Sisley, a primary care physician in Scottsdale, Arizona, recalls the moment she picked up the carefully wrapped package fresh from the delivery truck. Nearly two years after Sisley and her colleagues were awarded a grant to study marijuana as a treatment for 76 military veterans suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, her shipment of the drug was finally in hand.

But minutes later, as she opened the packets to weigh the drug – as required by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration – her enthusiasm turned to dismay. It didn’t look like marijuana. Most of it looked like green talcum powder.

“It didn’t resemble cannabis. It didn’t smell like cannabis,” Sisley says. What’s more, laboratory testing found that some of the samples were contaminated with mold, while others didn’t match the chemical potency Sisley had requested for the study.

There’s only one source of marijuana for clinical research in the United States. And “they weren’t able to produce what we were asking for,” Sisley says.

 

Full Article: 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/scientists-say-governments-pot-farm-moldy-samples-no-guidelines/

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