New rules for Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry could impact the availability of dabs and other concentrates.
Under the new guidelines, handed down last week by the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, retail businesses are forbidden from using butane, CO2 or other solvents to extract marijuana oils at their cultivation centers. These businesses are allowed to make hashish using water or dry ice on site, but the presence of non-water based concentrates at a cultivation facility could result in fines or disciplinary action.
Businesses that focus on solvent-based extractions face a long list of new rules. They must operate out of a facility that is separate from a grow operation, and their facility must be certified by an industrial hygienist or professional engineer. They must operate with a closed-loop system, not a packed-column system. All of the procedures must meet state fire and electrical codes. And all solvents must be tested to ensure they are at least 99% pure.
All concentrates will be tested for bacteria, mold, fungus and mildew, as well as for solvents. And beginning October 1, companies that produce concentrates will have to pass a four-week inspection process before they can sell their product.
Retail cultivation facilities aren’t entirely cut out of the concentrates business. But if these businesses do produce ice-water hashish, it must be done so in a designated room that is separated from the cultivation rooms. The extraction room must pass a health and safety audit, and abide by similar rules governing marijuana-infused kitchens.