Despite laws requiring the testing of all cannabis sold in Colorado for mold, contaminates and pesticides, the state says they won’t have any of that ready until the end of the year at the earliest.
According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, regulators are going to miss their self-imposed October 1 deadline to get the program up and running so that they can further tweak their system. Officials say they are going to begin beta testing soon.
The state program randomly selects dispensaries and herb to be sampled. As detailed at our sister publication, Westword:
Testing would require companies to turn in a test batch to the state at random; the sample would then be put through a number of tests for pesticides and other contaminates. The proposed language additions would require samples to be tested for molds, mildew, other filth and potency. The cost of the testing will be borne by the retail shop from which the products were taken. If the batch fails contaminate testing, the store would have to destroy it. That includes plant material, flowers, edibles, concentrates, everything. Violating the rule won’t land you in jail, but it will likely count as a strike against your public safety record as a company and isn’t going to look good come renewal time.
Recreational cannabis grow facilities would have to identify all pesticides, herbicides, fertlizers and other chemicals not only on packaging, but in filings with the state, as well. If shops use the same process for all strains, they can submit one report. If different strains are treated differently (which they usually are), each will require its own report. The state MED would have to sign off on any plans.
Pot growers will also face random sample testing which, if failed, could result in the loss of the entire batch. We assume that would mean anything from just one plant failing due to some mold to rejecting an entire harvest because someone didn’t flush out the chemicals well enough. The proposed rules would also require growers to have their product tested before selling it to a retail facility. They would have to have it tested for potency before sale, too. Strains would be tested a minimum of four times from four different harvests before totals can be released. After that, grow facilities would have to conduct potency testing on each of the strains once a year.
Not that that will be a huge problem, according to Peter Perrone, lab director at Gobi Analytical.
“The fact that they’re requiring it doesn’t mean that there’s a problem. It’s basically to kind of prevent problems,” he said this week.
One of the big issues will be pesticides on plants, as those guidelines for industrial farming are usually set by the feds. State officials say they are also wrangling with how to deal with pesticide safety considering people are smoking this product, not eating it like vegetables.
But what if you have concerns as a consumer? Tough luck. The state recently ruled that labs can’t test samples from private citizens, only licensed pot shops. They argued that it was to make sure all cannabis in their system is properly being tracked, but many agree that it’s actually because of a Denver Post report earlier this year that showed major discrepancies between advertised potency on edibles and how strong they really were. The state was clearly caught off guard by the report, which basically showed that they weren’t doing their jobs.
Officials did say that they would test shops in the meantime if complaints arose – though without a standard of testing or a set list of banned chemicals, enforcing it might be difficult.