testing

Colorado Grower Recalls Cannabis for Yeast and Mold Contamination

The City of Denver issued a Marijuana Informational Bulletin informing consumers that cannabis cultivator, Doctors Orders LLC, issued a voluntary recall of cannabis plant material due to the presence of yeast and mold. The contaminated cannabis samples were discovered during an inspection by the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE). There are no reported illnesses. Consumers are instructed to return the products with label OPC code 403R-00045 to the store where they were purchased.

Colorado Recalls Cannabis for Pesticide Residue

The City of Denver issued a Marijuana Informational Bulletin informing consumers that the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued a recall of cannabis plants and products grown by Colorado Wellness Centers LLC dba Lush due to pesticide residues. The CDA confirmed the presence of an unapproved pesticide in samples tested including flower, trim, concentrates and infused products. Consumers are instructed to return the products to the store where they were purchased. Batch numbers for the affected products are listed in the Marijuana Informational Bulletin.

Alaska: Cannabis Testing, Inventory and Sample Preparation Rules are Effective Today

Amendments adopted by the Alaska Marijuana Control Board on August 15, 2018 related to to cannabis testing, inventory tracking requirements and sample preparation become effective today. The amendments provide clarity around the marijuana sampling process that is used for testing purposes including the number of samples that are required to be tested for each harvest batch size. The amended regulations also require marijuana testing facilities to use testing methods, and to report test results, in accordance with guidelines provided by the Board. The Board indicated that it was requiring firms to comply with issued guidelines, rather than including the requirements in the rule, due to the nascent state of the industry, and to keep pace with testing methods, which are likely to change.

California: Cannabis Product Testing Failure Rate at 15%

The failure rate for cannabis products tested in California is over 15 Percent as of November 2, 2018. The majority of testing failures relate to label claims (65%), and followed by pesticides (22%) and microbial impurities (8%). The cannabis products that account for a largest portion of the testing failures include edibles, tinctures, topicals, etc. at 28%, inhalable products account for 17% and flower (10%).

Oklahoma Legislature Approves Laboratory Testing Rule Recommendations

The Oklahoma Legislature’s working group on the medical marijuana implementation voted unanimously to provide the Department of Health with recommendations for drafting regulations to govern the independent testing of marijuana, extracts and concentrates. The recommendations also address packaging/labeling requirements and prohibit candy-like edibles that may be attractive to children.

The independent testing laboratory recommendations requires labs, except those with provisional approval to be accredited by a qualified third party organization. Labs with provisional approval must attest to the fact that they comply with ANSI/ASQ protocol, and will seek accreditation. The recommendations contain standard provisions requiring employee registration identification cards, standards for the testing facility and a one year license that may be renewed within 30 days of expiration.

The standards for sampling, scope of tests, and standards for usable marijuana, extracts and concentrates are in line with other states. Labs must adopt operating procedures that outline, among other things, the lab’s the sampling procedures, chain of custody protocol, and testing methodologies However, Oklahoma’s recommendations allow for the remediation and retesting for certain test failures including microbiological, residual solvent, moisture content and foreign materials. Batches that fail residual pesticide, heavy metals or mycotoxin testing may not be remediated and must be destroyed.

Separately, the Oklahoma State Department of Health established a Food Safety Standards Board that issued draft rule language that sets forth food safety standards for processors. The scope of the draft rules is limited to establishing specific safety standards and testing requirements for food that contains marijuana.

The recommendations also include packaging / labeling requirements that require medical marijuana labels to include, after May 19th, information regarding the potency of the marijuana or marijuana products including concentrates. The labels must contain warning language regarding dangers of using the product, and a specific warning must be displayed if the marijuana has not been tested. The packaging requirements are similar to proposals by other states such as Oregon to prescribe the size, font type and information that must be contained on the principal display panel.

The recommendations also prohibit the manufacture or selling of gummy bears, worms, lollipops, human, animal or fruit shapes or other product that might be attractive to children. Again, Oklahoma is following other states such as Washington that are cracking down on edibles that resemble children’s candy.

Michigan Mandates Shut Down of Temporary Marijuana Operations On October 31st

Michigan has issued new emergency regulations that allow temporary marijuana businesses that are seeking a license to operate until October 31, 2018. The emergency rules require temporary marijuana operations to cease operations on October 31st if a municipality has not authorized it to operate pursuant to an adopted local ordinance, or is in the process of adopting a local ordinance.

Marijuana facilities that receive a state operating license will have a 30 day transition period to record the beginning marijuana product inventory in the seed-to-sale tracking system, test the product prior to sending to dispensaries, and for untested inventory, dispensaries must obtain a certification from the patient or primary caregiver that the product has not been tested.

Michigan adopted the new emergency rules after a Michigan judge issued an injunction that prevented the state from closing 98 temporary marijuana operations pursuant to a transition notice that the state issued on September 11, 2018.

COLORADO MEETS ON DRAFT TESTING RULES

The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division has issued draft rules that implement legislation enacted in 2018. The Division will accept public comments on these draft rules until October 16, 2018.  Last Friday, the Division held a workshop to discuss the draft testing rules that implement the following legislation:

  • HB18-1259: Marijuana Samples for Quality Control and Product Development:  A medical marijuana manufacturer and retailer may provide labeled and packaged samples from each batch to up to five managers for quality control and product development purposes.  The managers and the samples must be designated in the seed-to-sale tracking system. The sample size should be one sample serving size of a medical marijuana infused product, one quarter gram of concentrate, and one half of a concentrate intended for vaping.  The law places a limit on the total samples that a manager may receive in a month,, and the sample may not be consumed on the licensed premises..

  • HB18-1422: Marijuana Testing Facility Standards:  Requires licensed medical and retail marijuana testing facilities to be certified by January 1, 2019 by an entity recognized by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation in category of testing pursuant to ISO 17025:2005 standard.  The state can provide a twelve month extension to newly licensed testing facilities.

  • SB18 - 271: Improve Funding for Marijuana Research:  Authorizes the state to develop rules that permit the co-location to a marijuana development and research licensee or a marijuana research and development cultivation licensee.


Draft Medical Marijuana Rules
www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/180726%20Leg%20Imp%20Work%20Group%20Medical%20Redlines_212-1.pdf

Draft Retail Marijuana Rules
www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/180726%20Leg%20Imp%20Work%20Group%20Retail%20Redlines_212-2.pdf

OKLAHOMA ISSUES DRAFT EDIBLE SAFETY RULES

The Oklahoma Food Safety Board issued draft food safety rules for processors that produce edible marijuana products.  The regulations require processors to follow existing Oklahoma food safety laws and regulations.   In addition to existing regulations, there are additional requirements around labeling and packaging as well as recommended testing procedures. Oklahoma recommends that processors establish written minimal thresholds for the presence of biological, physical and chemical contaminants.  Like Michigan, Oklahoma rules provide that edibles should be tested for E. coli, Samonella, yeast, molds, chemical residue, metals and pesticide residue, and potency.   Labels and packaging must indicate the list of ingredients including the list of marijuana ingredients including the batch of marijuana.

CALIFORNIA SENATE PASSES MARIJUANA BILLS

The California Senate passed the following bills today related to marijuana after a third reading.  

  • AB-2721: Cannabis: testing laboratories. (Vote: Yes 32 No 5)  Amends Section 26104 of the Business and Professions Code to permit a testing laboratory to receive and test samples of cannabis or cannabis products from a person over 21 years of age that the person has grown for personal use. The testing laboratory may not certify samples for resale or transfer to another person. The testing laboratory must record all tests with the name of the  person submitting the sample including the sample size.

  • AJR-27: (Vote Yes 28 No 3) A joint resolution of the two houses requesting the United States Department of Justice not to establish enforcement priorities against California’s lawful commercial cannabis industry.

  • AB-350: Cannabis: Advertisements (Vote Yes 38 No 0) Amends Section 26152 of the Business and Professions Code to prohibit a person with a suspended  licensee from publishing or disseminating advertisments or marketing of cannabis and cannabis products

  • AB-1996: The California Cannabis Research Program (Vote Yes 38 No 1).  Amends Section 2525.1 of the Business and Professions Code to (1) conform the name of the program throughout the code, (2) authorize the program to grow cannabis for research, and (3) expand the scope of the research.