In response to the 2019 vaping health crisis, cannabis regulators in the state of Colorado, which has served as a leader in cannabis reform, will be among the first in the United States to require that aerosol production is tested by cannabis vaporizer companies. The new testing requirement addressed the process of heating the oil into vapor, and is meant to keep vaping as safe as possible for Colorado consumers.
The rules could lengthen production lead times and increase thousands in testing costs for vaporizer companies. The state believes that these are necessary drawbacks in order to restore consumer confidence is a sector that led to the hospitalization of more than 2,500 people in recent years.
The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division has implemented a series of heavy-metal testing rules to clear up confusion as to what happens to cannabis oil when vaporized. Up until this point, only the oil itself has been analyzed in marijuana test centers. Going forward, these laboratories will be called to analyze the vapor, as well.
Senior vice president of product for San Francisco-based marijuana company PAX Labs Jesse Silver believes that the new regulations serve as an important step for the industry. He noted that high, uncontrolled temperatures produce byproducts when vaporized, and monitoring that vapor is vital to ensuring customer wellness.
Prior to the implementation of the new testing requirement, each batch of oil cost about $500 to be tested. The new rules will impose challenges on cannabis companies through increased testing costs, the possibility of failed tests, and increased lead times.
These increased costs will likely be passed on to consumers, and has drummed up some concern as to whether or not businesses who are already struggling with high costs will be able to survive. As testing facilities have to purchase new equipment, they will be forced to charge more for testing, which will eventually lead to increased costs for consumers.