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Colorado working to tweak marijuana enforcement, testing rules

August 5, 2015 Updated: August 5, 2015 at 9:53 pm
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photo - A worker tends to marijuana plants in a "bloom room" at a marijuana grow operation in a commercial building in Colorado Springs in April. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
A worker tends to marijuana plants in a "bloom room" at a marijuana grow operation in a commercial building in Colorado Springs in April. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

GOLDEN - Colorado kicked off a month-long effort Wednesday to develop and tweak marijuana enforcement rules dealing with everything from yeast levels to how edible medical marijuana products are labeled and packaged.

Colorado's permissive pot laws have opened up a Pandora's Box of regulation that is led by the relatively new Marijuana Enforcement Division under the Department of Revenue.

The rulemaking process will culminate with a public hearing on Aug. 31 at the state Capitol.

But before then, working groups composed of interested parties are meeting to go through the regulations with a fine-toothed comb. 

On Wednesday, business owners in the medical and retail marijuana industry, along with experts on marijuana lab testing and public health gathered to critique rules on testing, packaging and labeling of the products. It's all aimed at protecting consumers.

Medical marijuana will be required to be tested for the first time in 2016. Recreational marijuana has been tested for more than a year.

Issues regarding mold, yeast, pesticides, and even botulism in marijuana product were discussed as officials try to determine acceptable scientific levels for contaminants in a product.

Some of the new rules stem from new legislation passed in 2015.

House Bill 1283 set a new limit for how far from it's labeled potency a product can vary. It's set in state law at plus or minus 15 percent, and labels would tell consumers that under one of the proposed rules.

Senate Bill 196 ordered the Department of Agriculture to begin testing hemp products to ensure that Colorado crops don't contain more than the legally allowed limits of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive drug in marijuana.

While the Department of Agriculture deals with setting up that testing system, the Marijuana Enforcement Division is coming up with rules on how it's licensed retail marijuana testing facilities can receive and process hemp product. It all needs to be tracked through the same electronic tracking system.

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Contact Megan Schrader: 286-0644

Twitter @CapitolSchrader

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