Colorado Toughens Fungal Testing for Legal Weed
At a time when people across the US are getting sick from a mysterious vape-related illness, the additional product testing could help keep consumers safe.
Published on August 27, 2019

A new set of cannabis lab testing standards will go into effect in Colorado next month, adding yet another level of microbial fungus screening to the state’s legal weed industry.

According to Westword, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) will require mycotoxin testing for any cannabis concentrate or extract that did not pass the state’s initial microbial tests. Currently, Colorado allows any product that fails fungus tests to be quarantined and eventually extracted, with that new product then re-tested for mold, yeast, and pesticides.

Starting September 15th, the MED will add a new required testing step for all first-fail inventory, bolstering secondary testing and making sure that those previously quarantined products are completely safe to hit retail shelves. 

Over the past month or so, an increase in vape-related hospitalizations have hit ERs across the country, including Colorado, where two cases of severe lung damage were reported just last week. In a number of these cases, doctors suspect that pesticide or mold-ridden black market cannabis oils could be responsible, in addition to concerns about synthetic cannabinoids and adulterated nicotine e-juice.

“All [patients have] reported vaping liquids or oils that contained either nicotine, marijuana, CBD, synthetic marijuana, or a combination of these,” the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a press release.

With the addition of the mycotoxin testing step to weed out any potentially contaminated cannabis extracts, Colorado’s legal cannabis will secure its place as a leader in marijuana regulation and safety.

Of course, because every cannabis testing lab has its own specific methodology and protocols, it will require continued state monitoring to make sure mycotoxin testing is going as planned.

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Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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