Bad labs

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

Um, I hear, like, there’s a cannabis recall or something?

—C. Rome O’Tografee

Yeah, dude. It’s wild out here. According to public reports, the person in charge of Sequoia Labs, a Sacramento-based cannabis testing facility, failed to replace faulty lab equipment, choosing instead to falsify reports on about 700 different cannabis products. The state Bureau of Cannabis Control noticed that the paperwork was fishy, did a surprise inspection, and boom: Sequoia Labs voluntarily relinquished its business license, fired the lab tech at fault and is installing new protocols while working with state regulators to get its license reinstated and be back in business by 2019.

At least one person is not so optimistic. Alec Dixon, co-founder of SC Labs in Santa Cruz, told me this: “Dude, they’re done. You can’t come back from integrity loss, and you’re gonna get sued. I feel bad for them. I feel worse for the people having to go through the process.” While the BCC has yet to announce a recall, it has halted sales of the affected products pending a retest. Losses could be in the millions.

Dixon also told me he was glad to see the BCC being proactive and rigorous about keeping labs honest. “The most fascinating thing is, if you you are gonna have robust regulations on suppliers, you have to have even stricter regulations on labs,” he said. “The biggest hole in other states’ systems have been not regulating the labs, so the BCC being aggressive and holding labs accountable is good because bad data is like a ticking time bomb.”

There are only 43 state certified cannabis analysis labs in California. And only one “Labcabincalifornia.” Shout out to Pharcyde. There is tremendous pressure for cannabis analysis laboratories to be accurate and fast. It is a shame that one person decided to skirt the rules and jeopardize not just product, but people’s careers. Big up to the BCC for putting our hella high cannabis tax dollars to good use, and good luck to everyone at Sequoia Labs in getting their lab back on an even keel.

I saw a Prop. 65 sticker on my cannabis products. Weed causes cancer? I’m freaking out. What’s up?

—Howe Teheck-Isthistroo

Blame myrcene. And weed. And California. According to Proposition 65, cannabis and myrcene can be considered a carcinogenic, despite years of research proving otherwise. If myrcene caused cancer, there would be a whole lot of GoFundMe’s for the hashtag “Kush” on Instagram. I wouldn’t worry about it. Cannabis is a known cancer-fighter. Puff away.