The Office of Cannabis Management recently changed its testing limits for smokable flower by raising the allowable amount of nickel – a potentially toxic but abundant element found in plants, soil, animals and bodies of water.

While the move should allow more cultivators to pass testing and get their products to market, the change is frustrating for some farmers who had previous harvests that could have passed testing under the new rules – but instead were written off or turned into biomass.

Asked about the reasons for the change, OCM spokesperson Aaron Ghitelman told NY Cannabis Insider that the agency “reviews data and scientific evidence to ensure our testing standards are both up to date and appropriate” and “determined a change was appropriate to best protect New Yorkers.” (How raising a limit helps protect consumers, the OCM wouldn’t say).

However, one Adult-Use Cannabis Cultivator had made it his mission over the past year to see the state adjust its nickel testing – Aaron Leentjes, founder and farmer at UNIFI Group.