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US (CT): "No set rules for testing medical cannabis results in regulatory patchwork"

Connecticut approved an increased limit of mold and yeast allowed in medical cannabis at one of the state’s two cannabis testing labs through private emails last year, documents show. At the request of AltaSci Labs, the state Department of Consumer Protection agreed to raise the total passing level of yeast and mold from 10,000 colony forming units per gram to 1 million per gram for the lab, according to August 2020 emails obtained via a Hearst Connecticut Media Group public records request. State regulators argue that the looser restrictions paired with the addition of testing for the Aspergillus mold genus make the product safer. 

Connecticut, which is in the throes of launching its adult-use cannabis program, has about 54,000 medical cannabis patients, and none were notified about the change in mold and yeast levels. 

"Not all states have set requirements for testing medical cannabis. The result: a patchwork set of regulations that varies widely from state to state, and in Connecticut’s case, from lab to lab. The testing standards evolve often with new research. Without federal standards, it’s a learning process," said Rodrick Marriott, the department’s Drug Control Division director. 

“This program, and especially the microbiology portions of it, evolves over time based on things that other states learn, and that we learn, going through all of this, and really, I don't think there's any true perfect system for this and no kind of magic bullet to say what's exactly perfect,” Marriott said. “We continue to learn from our peers.”

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