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Questions still surround safety of consumer cannabis

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KAWC
/

As Arizona approaches the two-year anniversary of marijuana legalization, many health and safety questions about cannabis as a consumer product remain unanswered.

Now, a new study reiterates the old motto: Let the buyer beware.

Nicholas Gerbis explains from KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk.

Because the federal government still lists cannabis as an illegal Schedule I substance, it isn’t regulated by an agency like the FDA or USDA.

It is also difficult to research.

State regulations vary widely in scope and standards, comprising 679 contaminants overall.

Senior author Maxwell Leung says experts and regulators lack the data on contaminants needed to determine whether the possible health benefits of cannabis products outweigh the risks, especially for people already weakened by illness.

I think there is an important public health risk to those patients who might be exposed to these contaminants," said Leung.

The research appears in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.