Quick disclaimer – This process is new to me so I’m learning as I go. In simple terms, remediation refers to any process that kills or removes pests, yeast, mold, chemicals and metals from cannabis products in order to pass mandated safety tests before hitting the market for consumers.
From what I understand, growers use various remediation methods to increase each harvest’s chance of passing these tests which means more product which obviously means more money. There have also been reports that growers in states such as Michigan have utilized remediation methods after a batch has failed initial testing.
I can definitely see why there is controversy around companies doing this, mostly because the exact processes aren’t always disclosed to the public. I personally would want to know if a product I’m ingesting has failed a previous test regarding its safety. ESPECIALLY IF IT’S MEDICINE!
Then if process XYZ was done to rectify the reason for the initial failure, I’d like to know what that is before consuming it myself or recommending it to someone else. I think this point is pretty straightforward, but I really want to hear everyone’s perspectives.
In 2020, Connecticut increased the amount of allowable mold and yeast in cannabis from 10^4 colony forming units per gram to 10^6 CFU/g. They also implemented a zero tolerance for Aspergillus bacteria. Basically, they were allowing growers to approve products with higher contaminant concentrations but at the same time make it stricter for specific bugs.
I see both sides of the argument for and against remediation in general. In theory, remediation should ensure products are safer to consume, but how do these processes affect the natural properties of the plant? It will be interesting to see how each state handles how the growers utilize remediation and more importantly if/how they disclose it. Should there be labelling requirements? A notification system for patients who received a product from a certain harvest that underwent remediation might be a solution if feasible.
At the end of the day, consumer safety needs to be the priority and the more transparency with the public the better. For a deeper dive, give this article a read and see how not disclosing these procedures can go wrong. (https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2022/03/should-michigan-marijuana-businesses-disclose-kill-step-to-customers.html).
Interesting Fact: Connecticut’s allowable CFU/g was settled after public input to 10^5. Massachusetts is 10^4. It might not seem like a lot, but that’s a ten-fold difference in allowable contaminants that our state citizens can be ingesting.