Colorado marijuana rules will require testing of vapor, not just oil

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(This story has been corrected to reflect that the new rules take effect in 2022.)

Colorado regulators adopted new rules for testing cannabis vapor that could have an impact on ensuring consumer safety for vape products but also add another cost to marijuana companies.

The question of what happens to cannabis oil when it is vaporized came to the forefront during the outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses that began in 2019 and was eventually linked to additives in products from the illicit market.

The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division’s new rules, released Oct. 9, are intended to help reassure consumers about the safety of tested legal products.

The regulations require companies to test “emissions” from vape products – essentially, examining the aerosol the consumer is inhaling that’s produced from vaping cannabis oil. Until now, the oil has been analyzed in laboratories.

Another Colorado rule requires manufacturers to label cannabis vape cartridges with an expiration date based on “scientific understanding of consumer safety and quality,” according to a news release.

The new regulations don’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2022, so the cannabis industry has time to come into compliance.