Colorado adds aspergillus to the state’s mold and yeast test requirements

A July 1 memo from the state Marijuana Enforcement Division reminded licensed marijuana business owners that testing for aspergillus is now included in the state’s mold and yeast test requirements, while potency testing has expanded into more forms of THC. The new rules took effect that day.

Commercial marijuana products are currently tested for various pesticides, molds and yeasts, heavy metals, solvents and other contaminants, as well as cannabinoid potency. Part of an extensive regulatory update in 2021, the new standards were based on recommendations from a science and policy committee overseen by the MED and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

A common mold found indoors, outdoors and in marijuana samples, aspergillus can be inhaled through smoke and makes regular appearances in marijuana flower studies. Nearly a dozen states with commercial pot currently have aspergillus testing mandates, according to Jill Ellsworth, CEO of marijuana remediation company Willow Industries.

“The decision made by the [MED] to add aspergillus to its microbial testing requirements is a big step for the Colorado market. This mold is common and presents a serious risk to facilities, workers and consumers,” Ellsworth says. “This change shows that the industry is continuing to understand the risks of microbial contamination, and hints at the standardization of testing regulations to come.”

Marijuana samples found with aspergillus will have to undergo plant remediation or retesting, or be destroyed.

The article originally appeared in Westword on July 11th, 20222.

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