With rising popularity in cannabis use across the country, more growers and distributers are entering the market to keep up with demand. With the increased number of grow locations, it is important to ensure that the same level of quality and care goes into the plants, and that there are standards set for the products being sold on the market. To maintain this higher standard, many states are raising the testing standards for cannabis being grown for consumption and sold on the market.
While many states may have different specifics, it seems everyone is implementing different and higher testing standards and qualifications in regards to cannabis production. Washington and Rhode Island have begun testing for pesticides in order to limit toxicity or contamination in plants and leaves.
Connecticut has implemented yeast and mold limits to 100,000 colony-forming units per gram, which directly effects the way plants and components are being stored and handled. As recently as August 2022, California began a proposal to set a uniform method for determining cannabinoid concentration smoked, inhaled, eaten, and topical products to prevent distributors from watering down or lacing their products with other substances.
New Jersey has also begun to crack down on handling regulations from the moment the seed is planted, to the laboratory where it is tested, then all the way down the line to the point of purchase.
The plant itself is not the only part of the cannabis world that is undergoing new safety and quality testing, either. Colorado has begun to certify and develop heavy metal vapor tests for cannabis vapes to ensure vapors are not inhaling toxic metals from poorly made cartridges or pens. Many states are also looking at specific conditions for the upkeep and maintenance of laboratories, transports, and storage locations for all cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia in order to minimize outside contaminants.
Last month, the American Society for Testing and Materials, or the ASTM International, approved four new testing standards for samples, including tests for cannabinoids, pesticides, heavy metals, and terpenes nationwide, ultimately publishing 6 new standards in the past two months alone.
At the beginning of this month, the NIST, or the National Institute of Standards and Technology, held a conference to discuss production of increased productivity in conjunction with quality, and discussion quality assurance in forensic laboratories and the Cannabis Laboratory Quality Assurance Program. Even the FDA is becoming sterner and more aggressive in warning, citing, or even shutting down companies who are not upholding quality assurance and standards based on local and national laws and guidelines.
Ultimately, what this means for you, is that the cannabis world, as a whole, is finally catching up with The Standard, and the standard for quality across the country is only getting better. This means you are always provided with a safer and better-quality product than ever before.