In less than two weeks, weed will be legal in California. But is the marijuana going to be tainted?

An article this week by the Associated Press – “Burners beware: California pot sold Jan 1 could be tainted” – raised that question.

Donald Land, a UC Davis chemistry professor who works at Steep Hill Labs Inc., which tests marijuana, told the AP that the weed on the market may be filled with pesticides, mold or mildew.

“Buyer beware,” he said.

So, why does he say that?

Up until now, the marijuana industry has had no regulations when it comes to testing weed. While some dispensaries self-regulate, others do not and that’s why some dispensaries might be selling contaminated products.

Come the new year, however, the rules are getting stricter and all marijuana sold in California will need to be tested.

Even so, those rules will be phased in, and thus for the first six months, dispensaries will be able to sell products that they had purchased prior to Jan. 1. It’s those products that could be tainted.

It’s unclear what percentage of marijuana on the market is currently contaminated. But Kimberly Cargile -- the Executive Director at A Therapeutic Alternative, a dispensary in East Sacramento that self-regulates and tests all their products – says they turn away about 10 percent of the product that they test.

“It doesn’t pass the test,” she explained.

Her best advice to avoid any possible contamination? Just go to a dispensary that tests all of their products.

So ultimately -- while yes, the AP article is correct to say some marijuana sold next year will be tainted, it’s no more than the amount of contaminated weed already on the market.