For years, the popular image of cannabis growers has been scruffy hippies getting high on their own supply in a disorganized underground economy, rather than shiny white industrial agriculture facilities. Even larger-scale operations involved minimal quality control or lacked formal record keeping.
As the cannabis industry expands, the role of good science within it will also expand, and there will be further opportunities for collaboration. “More and more,” says Zheng, “the scientific community and industry are directly communicating and sharing information.”
Independent testing labs have sprung up to help growers to meet the requirements, but like the wider cannabis industry, they face growing pains. “At the moment it’s a bit like the Wild West, with different rules in different places,” says Andrew James, marketing director of Ellutia in Ely, UK, which makes chemical analysis equipment for the cannabis industry, among other markets. “It can be hard to know what to test for, how to test and where to do it.”
The greatest challenge from a process perspective will likely be the actual act of getting the seeds needed to begin cultivation. As previously mentioned, the only place currently growing and selling marijuana in South Dakota is the operation run by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, who do not sell seeds or plants at present.
Due to the federal illegality of interstate transport of marijuana, there is no official voice who will tell you how to get your own product. In the absence of such a voice, Tiger recommends reaching out to our old friend; the internet.
If these transactions are both common and federal crimes, how can they take place? The answer may trace back to August 29, 2013, with the issuance of the Cole Memorandum.
For some answers, KELOLAND News turned to Liz Tiger, Northern Hills Coordinator for New Approach South Dakota, a group dedicated to cannabis reform in South Dakota.
However, barring the dispensary operated by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, there is currently nowhere that card holders can go to purchase medical marijuana in the state, with that not set to change until mid 2022.