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Understanding the New CDPHE Hemp Testing Requirements

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

by RZA Legal summer law clerk, Lauren Devine

Starting July 1, 2021, several new testing requirements for Colorado wholesale hemp manufacturers will go into effect, impacting both retail and medical marijuana manufacturers whose infused products contain hemp as ingredients. Importantly, these new regulations do not apply to companies that are manufacturing hemp-derived products that are not intended for human consumption, or those who produce only smokable or inhalable products.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • TESTING LABS: All hemp product testing must be conducted at a CDPHE-certified laboratory. This means a public or private laboratory or testing facility certified to perform testing on hemp and hemp products or a testing facility licensed by the Marijuana Enforcement Division.

  • PROOF OF TEST RESULTS: In order for a food, food additive, dietary supplement, or cosmetic manufactured in Colorado to contain hemp, the manufacturer must be able to provide a Certificate of Analysis (“C.O.A.”) to demonstrate proper purity and potency compliance.

  • WHAT TO TEST: A detailed list of the required testing and appropriate limits* can be found in Section 21.7.F.5 of the Regulations. Essentially, manufacturers will need to test for microbials (bacteria and fungus); mycotoxins; a wide array of pesticides; heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury); and residual solvents. *Companies may choose to conduct more than the minimum testing required at any step.

  • WHEN TO TEST: Manufacturers will need to complete testing before infusing hemp into products. After mycotoxin, pesticide, heavy metal, and residual solvent testing has been completed and the manufacturer has the C.O.A. in hand, the same C.O.A. can be used for each manufacturer down the supply chain unless the product is further concentrated or a contaminant hazard is introduced at a later manufacturing step or process.

  • RECORD KEEPING: Manufactures need to hold on to the hemp testing C.O.A. and a variety of other records for a minimum of two (2) years.

  • LABELING CHANGES: Health claims for hemp or hemp-derived ingredients must be qualified and must follow Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and guidance including marketing materials. A manufacturer, distributor, or seller of a hemp product cannot make any claims that the product can, or is intended to, diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease. Additional warning statements may also be required depending on the type of product manufactured.

Don’t get caught unprepared to comply with these new regulations on July 1. These requirements impact all hemp manufacturers in Colorado, as well as marijuana manufacturers who use hemp-derived products as ingredients. If you have any questions or need clarification, RZA Legal is here to help - schedule a consultation HERE.


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