Colorado scrambles to put some kind of mandatory testing in place but it will take time and accuracy will remain an issue. Unfortunately, “homogeneity” which is required in other products will not be addressed which means THC content (marijuana’s major psychoactive ingredient) may not be spread proportionately throughout the product, but could be concentrated in one area. Something considered to be dangerous by experts in pharmacology as voiced by Dr. Michael Wempe, Director of Colorado School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, who is a member on the state emergency rule making group.
For the first time, makers of marijuana-infused cookies, cupcakes and candies were required to submit samples to newly licensed independent labs for testing, starting Thursday.
If an individually packaged product exceeds the legal limit of 100 milligrams of THC — marijuana’s major psychoactive ingredient — it is supposed to be blocked from reaching recreational store shelves. Manufacturers can fix the problem or destroy the batch.
But the debut of mandatory potency testing for edibles did not come without problems.
Only two labs were cleared to start testing Thursday, and even those have yet to be fully certified. The state postponed another test that was supposed to begin, and edibles manufacturers are concerned about a lack of standardization and results that are all over the map.
State officials acknowledge testing will not be perfect at the start.
“For us, it always goes back to public safety,” said Lewis Koski, director of the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, part of the Department of Revenue. “It’s a necessary next step for us to ensure that the product is what it says it is on the labels.”
The new testing comes amid growing scrutiny of edible-marijuana products, with two recent deaths linked to edibles, hospital emergency rooms reporting more patients reacting badly to edibles, and state legislators and regulators considering greater restrictions.
Enforcement division officials say seven testing labs have been licensed and four are being certified — an additional step carried out with the state Department of Public Health and Environment.
To be certified, labs must meet standards that include lab director qualifications, quality control, security and sample tracking.
As of Thursday, however, none had completed the process, state officials said. Two labs received provisional certification, meaning they are in “material compliance” but not through the process.