Tuesday afternoon, the New York Office of Cannabis Management responded to concerns of its strict cannabis testing requirements by eliminating criteria for bacteria, yeast and mold limitations.

The move follows complaints from numerous cannabis growers that the pass/fail limits required by the state threatened their ability to deliver product in the marketplace. Cultivators noted that outdoor growing made it very difficult to meet the OCM’s strict standard – which formerly required less than 10,000 colony-forming units (CFU) per gram of flower, or 1,000 CFU per gram of extract of yeast and mold.

An Office of Cannabis Management email released to licensed cultivators announced that “[t]he Office has updated its Laboratory Testing Limits document to remove the pass/fail limits associated with the Total Viable Aerobic Bacteria Count and Total Yeast and Mold Count for unextracted cannabis products (e.g. cannabis flower, pre-roll, etc.).”

Cultivators are still required to conduct the testing and “consider these results and any impact to the stability and expiration dating of the product, as well as any risks to the health of consumers,” the email said.

Critics claim the move will diminish quality and harm customer expectations in the novice industry.

Harris Beach Stays Abreast of Cannabis Industry Developments

The Harris Beach Cannabis Industry keeps track of the fast-developing New York cannabis market to keep clients in the know. For more information, please contact Meaghan T. Feenan, who advises organizations of all structures on developments within the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), including cultivators and processors, retailers, and distributors. She’s a frequent speaker on Cannabis topics and regularly publishes articles about the licensing process and legislative updates.

This alert is not a substitute for advice of counsel on specific legal issues.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York state, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Uniondale and White Plains, as well as Washington D.C., New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.