Budzilla operator Rejean Houle is offering medical patients incentive to bring in their licensed producer grown cannabis, in hopes that he’ll be able to provide a better understanding of what’s in it.
After being alerted by patients to issues with the quality of government sanctioned cannabis facilities, Houle said he began encouraging those with an MMPR license to bring in their marijuana for testing. Wanting to get a wide variety of brands and strains, Houle is offering patients that bring in at least a gram of licensed producer grown cannabis double that amount from Budzilla.
To qualify for the program, patients need to bring in their registration papers as well as the container the cannabis was shipped in, as proof.
After having testing done by an independent laboratory that will look at THC, CBD, pesticide and heavy metal content, Houle said all the information will be shared publicly to hopefully end issues that he’s heard, first hand.
“I’ve been hearing a lot of horror stories from patients,” said Houle. “We’re hearing about licensed producers mailing out cannabis that’s wet and not properly cured.”
Houle explained that this impacts the taste, flavour and the overall chemical composition of the product because it hasn’t matured properly. He said it also effects the cost of the cannabis, as a gram weighed with moisture in it will arrive lighter to the consumer.
“You’ve lost your weight, you’re down to 0.7 of a gram,” said Houle. “So you’re paying full price for basically what a street dealer would rip you off for.”
Houle said he’s already heard from customers that have tested cannabis from licensed producers that has come back as much as 10 per cent less potent than advertised.
“The problem with that is that they don’t know how to grow cannabis in the first place,” said Houle on the government licensed growers. “Some of these guys have said that they’ve never seen cannabis until they’ve invested into their million dollar crops.”
According to Houle, the majority of licensed producer customers are first-time users, a large portion of which are elderly, being referred by physicians, who may not know there are other options to obtain their medicine.
“The older patients end up dealing with licensed producers because they know the hassles and the problems that have have been going on,” Houle said. “These new patients, with this offer [from Budzilla], now have a recourse.”
Houle said since the program began a few weeks ago, he’s gotten several samples from patients, but wants more to get a wider profile of the product being sold.
“So far it’s been successful, but people have been a little bit shy because I think they think we’re going to share their records,” Houle said. “I want to, very specifically, explain that we will not share any information with any governmental agency, for any reason.”
The program will run for two months at the dispensary, and, if it’s successful, Houle said he plans to potentially continue it, permanently.
“What we’re going to do after the trial is set up a non-profit organization dedicated strictly to this, as a watchdog organization,” Houle said.