New York eases marijuana testing requirements for some contaminants

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New York regulators have eliminated marijuana testing limits for contaminants bacteria, mold and yeast after outdoor cannabis cultivators complained that the original rules were too restrictive.

The Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) emailed growers earlier this week saying it had updated its laboratory testing limits to remove the pass and fail limits for products that weren’t made via extraction, including flower and pre-rolls, according to The (Syracuse) Post-Standard’s NY Cannabis Insider.

Testing labs will still be required to test for those contaminants, but there won’t be an allowable limit.

Labs must also still test for E. coli, salmonella and aspergillus.

Growers will be responsible for evaluating the test results and deciding on any risks to the health of consumers, the office said in the email.

In a statement to NY Cannabis Insider regarding the change, OCM spokesperson Aaron Ghitelman noted that New York’s model mirrors other states with recreational markets that have outdoor grows, including California, Oregon and Washington.

The regulations won’t require testing for moisture content, water activity and foreign material until after Jan. 1, 2023.

Terpenes and residual solvent testing will be required after March 1, 2023.

The bulk of New York’s first flower crop is expected to come from hemp growers, who got an early opportunity to supply the recreational marijuana market when sales launch later this year or in early 2023.