Colorado and Washington State Officials Striving to Come Up with Health and Safety Rules for Marijuana Offerings
As we all know, Colorado and Washington have made history in legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. But given how officials from both states are working on establishing regulations about how marijuana should be grown, sold and taxed, it’s obvious some things aren’t easy to iron out. Take for example, the health and safety standards governing the different marijuana products that will be offered to the public.
Experts agree that marijuana, like other agricultural products, can be susceptible to molds, mites, pesticide residue, E.coli, and salmonella. But since pot remains illegal under federal laws, Colorado and Washington officials are aware they cannot rely on the Food and Drug Administration rules. That means, they have to come up with their own health and safety standards that would ensure hazard-free marijuana offerings.
“It’s important for us to do it because it’s public safety and there’s no U.S. FDA oversight here,” Randy Simmons, the Washington State Liquor Control Board project manager in charge of implementing Initiative 502, told NBC News.
At present, there are no quality control tests required in either state and there’s no mechanism for recalling contaminated pot products. The framework for new rules is still a work in progress.
But while small marijuana producers are taking it upon themselves to guarantee the safety of their products, some larger producers have created and imposed their own health and safety standards.
Tripp Keber, chief executive of Dixie Elixirs & Edibles in Denver, assures his marijuana products adhere to federal standards for quality. He sends samples of raw material and finished products to a medical marijuana testing laboratory to make sure his product lines are free from any contamination.
“Anyone can make a pot brownie, but fewer can make a dozen,” Keber said. “Even fewer can make 5,000 with the same consistency.”