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Connecticut Sets its Allowable Levels of Yeast and Mold in Cannabis Products

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: May 27, 2022   
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Regulators in Connecticut have finalized the allowable levels of yeast and mold growth on cannabis samples in the state.

As reported by the CT Mirror, a state legislative committee gave final approval on Tuesday, May 24, to set the permissible levels of yeast and mold to 100,000 colony-forming units (CFUs) per gram.

Limiting growth

If left untreated, yeast and mold can produce chemical mycotoxins that are harmful to human health. These can include aflatoxins, a type of mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus fungi, which are strongly carcinogenic.

Many state cannabis regulators set their yeast and mold threshold at 10,000 CFUs per gram of cannabis sample. Some, such as the cannabis regulator in Illinois, have a threshold of 1,000 CFUs per gram.

Now, Connecticut has joined the likes of Florida and Michigan, which mandate 100,000 CFUs per gram.

The change will affect the state’s two operating cannabis labs, Northeast Laboratories (which was reportedly using a 10,000 CFU per gram threshold) and AltaSci (which was reportedly using a 1,000,000 CFU per gram threshold). The former will have to up its threshold; the latter will have to lower its.

Medical cannabis patient groups in the state had advocated for a limit of 10,000 CFUs per gram, according to the CT Mirror, but state officials have stated that the new 100,000 threshold is still safe.

The new regulations also include a new state limit on Aspergillus mold: none.

Aspergillus fungi produce a type of carcinogenic mycotoxin that can cause liver failure in large doses, particularly among those with weakened immune systems.

Connecticut and cannabis

Connecticut legalized medical cannabis back in 2012. And as of June 13, 2021, the state had 54,227 registered medical cannabis patients, 18 dispensaries, 4 producers, and 1,451 registered physicians.

The north-east state legalized recreational cannabis last summer, but the retail market isn’t expected to open until the end of the year at the earliest.


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