New rules in the state of Colorado will require that cannabis vapor and vape products are tested for safety, in addition to cannabis products, to ensure quality and compliance standards are met.
Officially released on October 9, this new set of rules is meant to help consumers feel confident that the product they are purchasing is safe and well regulated. The rules will be overseen by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division and will take effect starting on January 1, 2021.
These new rules are being enforced due to multiple people experiencing a lung disease called e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) back in 2019. As of February 2020, the CDC reports that a total of 2,807 people were hospitalized because of EVALI cases, and 68 people died. Following these events, many cities and states are taking extra precautions to protect consumers from preventable outbreaks such as EVALI.
“We’re pleased to see Colorado continue to adopt industry-leading cannabis policy, grounded in research and science,” said PAX Labs Head of Biocompatibility, Echo Rufer. “This change marks a common sense evolution of testing protocols that not only supports increased consumer safety, but further separates the regulated market from the illicit one.”
In order to analyze vape products, the tests will operate like emissions tests, by examining the aerosol that is being inhaled, as well as the vapor being produced from using oil and the quality and overall makeup of both. This process has been used by laboratories before, but not as part of an official emissions test to ensure quality control. Additionally, vape cartridges must now be labeled with expiration dates, since it is not yet clear how quality could be degraded by time on the shelf.
With these new rules going into effect at the beginning of next year, it will give laboratories at least a few months to adjust with the regulations.