High percentage of Maine medical cannabis contaminated, regulators say

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Maine regulators are again pushing to “modernize” the state’s medical cannabis program after a report showed that 42% of samples they recently tested contained contaminants such as yeast and pesticides.

Maine’s Office of Cannabis Policy (OCP) found that 50 of the 120 samples the agency tested in this round of audit testing would have failed under the lab-testing standards for adult-use cannabis in the state, according to a news release.

“This data (indicates) that Maine’s medical cannabis program needs a comprehensive solution to reform and modernize the system in order to protect Maine’s patients,” OCP Director John Hudak said in a statement.

Medical cannabis in Maine is not subject to the same lab-testing requirements as adult-use marijuana, and efforts to change that have been met with resistance from cultivators and caregivers in the program who say their products are safe.

According to the OCP, of the 120 samples:

  • 30 failed for yeast and mold.
  • 26 failed for pesticides.
  • Four failed for heavy metals.
  • One failed for filth and foreign materials.

Myclobutanil was the most common pesticide found in the samples, with eight exceeding the acceptable threshold, according to the report.

One of those samples contained 293 times the allowable threshold, according to the OCP.

The OCP’s report comes at a time when lab-testing requirements and enforcement for the cannabis industry differ dramatically nationwide and product recalls are common.