Colorado Cracks Down On Marijuana Businesses Cheating Lab Tests

Regulators in Colorado have identified numerous cases in which licensed marijuana businesses are cheating on their lab testing, according to a memo from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), reported Denver Westword.

The memo stressed potential public safety risks that lab cheating presents.

Those breaking the rules could face fines of up to $100,000 per violation, revoked licenses, and criminal prosecution.

“The Marijuana Enforcement Division has identified many examples of Regulated Marijuana Businesses adulterating Test Batches to pass required testing which has led to administrative actions, penalties, and in some cases Health and Safety Advisories,” per the memo. “Adulterating or altering Test Batches is a significant public safety concern because the Test Batch no longer represents the Harvest or Production Batch it was pulled from.”

The MED imposed new rules that will go into effect next month, according to a June 2 memo sent to business owners.

New Rules

As of July 1, 2023, regulated marijuana testing facilities will be required to “notify the division and quarantine any test batches that they suspect, or have reason to suspect, may be adulterated.”

Suspected adulteration may include discoloration, namely bleaching or dark brown appearance, uncommon smell and variations in texture seen in samples taken from the same harvest batch.

Year-to-date, MED has issued thirteen cannabis recalls as products tested positive for microbials, mold and yeast.

To tackle the issue, cannabis regulators have urged lawmakers to help to keep contaminated marijuana far from users.

Rep. Marc Snyder said earlier this year that even though lab testing on retail cannabis has been required since 2015, “enforcement mechanisms are rather lengthy and cumbersome.” 

Photo: Courtesy of Dmytro Tyshchenko and Kevin Ruck by Shutterstock

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