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The Vermont Cannabis Control Board has recommended the Legislature fund a state cannabis testing laboratory following sales of a fungicide-contaminated batch of flower. After a man reported a headache, stomachache, and nausea following consumption (turns out it’s not good to smoke fungicides), the board issued a recall of all flower from Holland Cannabis. 

The recalled product was sold at five retailers. One retailer stocking the flower said in an email to the VTDigger that all of the products from Holland Cannabis came with paperwork confirming they had been tested for pesticides. Another dispensary owner, Brian Fisher, told the VTDigger that the certificate of analysis for the contaminated product showed only a trace amount of myclobutanil, a prohibited pesticide. 

According to Fisher, the lot showed 0.001 parts per million of myclobutanil. So, trace amounts. But when the state cannabis board ordered testing, the lot came back with 0.1 parts per million – a significantly higher reading. 

James Pepper, chair of the Cannabis Control Board, says that the latest contaminated flower incident highlights the need for a state-run testing facility. Vermont currently has a board contract with Bia Diagnostics, but Pepper says the three-day turnaround time needed to test the batch of contaminated product at their facility could be cut in half if the state had its own lab. The state has three licensed testing facilities, but not all are even certified to test for pesticides. 

Vermont’s not the first state to look at standardizing its cannabis testing. California’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) recently passed a bill to establish standardized test methods by the beginning of 2023, following the designation of two state-run labs that established standard operating procedures for the other labs in the state to follow. 

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