A legislative committee in Connecticut signed off May 24 on new medical cannabis testing regulations that were proposed by regulators earlier this year.
The new rules would set new allowable levels of mold and yeast at a limit of 100,000 colony forming units per gram and would not allow any detectable levels of Aspergillus, according to the CT Mirror.
Officials from the Department of Consumer Protection, which regulates the medical cannabis market in Connecticut, proposed the new regulations after a rule change last year allowed one of the state’s two testing labs to increase its limit for mold and yeast.
Regulators approved a request from AltaSci Labs last year to raise its limits to 1 million colony forming units per gram when the lab’s limit had initially been 10,000 units per gram. The move sparked complaints from patients, according to the CT Mirror.
Northeast Laboratories, the other medical cannabis testing lab in the state, has maintained its limit of 10,000 colony forming units per gram.
Now that the Legislative Regulation Review Committee has approved the rule change, one lab will be permitted to increase its limits while the other must decrease them.
Representatives from both labs told the CT Mirror that they support the new regulations, but some of the state’s patients have advocated for a limit of 10,000 colony forming units per gram, according to the news outlet.
In addition, some industry stakeholders have already expressed concern about the new regulations.
Mike Esposito, a scientist at Massachusetts-based MCR Labs, told the CT Mirror that the rules could allow harmful materials to make their way into medical cannabis products, causing lung damage to not only the patients that consume them, but also the employees who grow and manufacture the products.
Lou Rinaldi, a patient advocate in Connecticut, told the news outlet that some patients could have mold allergies and that Aspergillus should not be the only safety concern.
Lawmakers said during Tuesday’s committee meeting that they can take up some of these issues in a working group during the next legislative session, the CT Mirror reported.
“It’s a good starting point for us,” said Rep. Nicole Klarides-Ditria, co-chair of the Legislative Regulation Review Committee, according to the news outlet. “We can go back and propose legislation and have the working group look at this a little further to make changes."