Colorado regulators have identified “many examples” of licensed marijuana businesses cheating lab testing, the state said in a recent memo.
This ongoing trend poses a “significant public safety concern,” the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) said in a recent industry bulletin.
The situation could lead to revoked licenses, six-figure fines and criminal prosecution, the agency said.
Starting July 1, licensed testing laboratories will be required to notify state regulators whenever they “suspect, or have reason to suspect” that a batch of marijuana sent for testing could be “adulterated,” according to Denver alt-weekly Westword.
The MED did not say exactly how many instances of adulterated test batches have been detected.
The agency did say it has recorded “many examples” of test batches with an unusual smell, inconsistent texture or discoloration – three factors that could indicate an effort on the part of cultivators to beat the MED’s testing standards.
Westword also noted that the agency has issued 13 product recalls in 2023 for violations of standards around bacteria, mold and yeast.
Any further product recalls might be accompanied with more severe penalties, the MED suggested.
“If the Division finds evidence of willful or deliberate Test Batch adulteration or alteration, it will recommend the strictest penalties possible to the State Licensing Authority which may include suspension or revocation of license, and fines of up to $100,000 per violation,” the agency said in its statement.