Colorado regulatory authorities have highlighted numerous instances of licensed cannabis businesses manipulating lab testing, according to a recent memorandum from the state.

The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) has raised alarms about this persisting issue, citing it as a substantial risk to public safety, as detailed in a recent industry bulletin.

This predicament may result in severe repercussions, including license revocations, hefty fines reaching six figures, and potential criminal charges, warned the agency.

Effective from July 1, all licensed testing labs will be mandated to report to state regulators if there are suspicions or reasons to believe that a marijuana batch sent for testing might be tampered with, as reported by Denver’s alternative weekly, Westword.

The MED has remained elusive on the precise number of tampered test batches discovered. However, they have acknowledged encountering numerous instances of test batches exhibiting peculiar smells, uneven textures, or discoloration. These attributes could be indicative of an intentional endeavor by growers to bypass the MED’s testing criteria.

Westword also highlighted that the MED has instituted 13 product recalls in 2023 due to non-compliance with standards pertaining to bacteria, mold, and yeast.

The MED hinted that any additional product recalls may be met with sterner penalties.

The MED cautioned in its statement, “Should the Division discover evidence of intentional or deliberate tampering or alteration of Test Batches, it will advocate for the harshest penalties conceivable to the State Licensing Authority. This could involve license suspension or revocation, and fines amounting to $100,000 per violation.”