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Cannabis 101: Cues to determine shelf life of that newly legal marijuana

Food safety experts usually don’t see shelf life or expiration dates as big issues, but survey results consistently show that the public worries about those use-by and best-buy dates. It only stands to reason, then, that those who smoke or munch on marijuana would have similar concerns.

Stepping up to help those worried about possibly aging pot is Patrick Bennett, who writes for Leafly. He is out with “Identifying Old or Bad Cannabis Past its Shelf Life,” which contains tips on how to tell if marijuana is past its prime.

medicalmarijuana_406x250Under the right conditions, Bennett writes that cannabis can have an indefinite shelf life, but he says not all of it gets “this level of precision.”

In a “Cannabis 101” lesson, he shares five “cues you can use to sense if your cannabis is old or bad.” On the list are:

1. Aromatic cues — a musty, mildew smell may be a “red flag” for mold.

2 Visual cues — if too old, it will break apart “into a fine powder.”

3. Tactile cues — can you feel any moisture?

4. Audio cues — can you still feel the snap when you pull buds apart?

5. Taste test — but check for mold before you light up.

This exercise in consumer education comes as voters in nine more states prepare to vote on marijuana measures, according to state election officials. The states are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota.

This year’s ballot measures involve potential legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana. If voters agree, recreational use would be permitted in California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, while medical use would be allowed in Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota.

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