State regulators are informing Colorado’s marijuana testing labs that they cannot analyze samples for individual users. This is particularly difficult for patients who relocated to the Rockies to access medical cannabis for their children and who would like to use marijuana-testing labs to better regulate dosage.
The state's Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) requires every licensed recreational pot business to utilize Colorado’s inventory tracking system to monitor all cannabis-related samples. The mandatory testing structure – established to specifically analyze recreational weed – commenced on May 1 by gauging edibles for potency, with any product failing a test barred from release into the marketplace. Colorado currently has seven licensed professional cannabis testing labs.
As there is no state requirement for medical pot products to be tested, and because the MED only permits analysis of samples from licensed businesses, patients and their personal caregivers are prevented from having their medicine scientifically evaluated.
While a provision in the law allows for labs to test for the medical cannabis industry, such product appraisal remains voluntary for dispensaries. Some of these labs had tested for individual users for years before being formally licensed as part of the regulatory process developed following Amendment 64's passage in 2012.
The crackdown on individual testing is a setback for patients who desire pot and extract purity, as lab analysis reveals the presence of undesired residuals such as butane. Testing also gauges proper dosages – especially critical for child patients – as well as providing a cannabinoid profile to allow for the most effective treatment of a given malady.