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Multistate CBD Operator? Here’s How to Ensure Your Hemp Product Passes New York’s Strict Regulations (Now in Effect)

ByTrichome Team

May 18, 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

New York’s Cannabinoid Hemp Program (CHP) has some of the strictest testing requirements in the nation. While some rules weren’t fully enforced when they were first announced in late 2021, amended regulations for laboratory testing are now in effect for all licensees in the state.

For existing operators in New York or startups entering the space, the contamination regulations specifically can be daunting. Here’s what you need to know to succeed in the fast-growing NY market.

CHP Regulations: An Overview

As we’ve covered previously, New York CBD testing regulations are widely viewed as among the most stringent in the nation. Whether you’re an MSO or a new social and economic equity licensee seeking to do business in the Empire State, it’s essential to understand these regulations and partner with a reputable, third-party testing lab to ensure compliance.

The following are required to be tested, with further details found in Part 114.10 of the Cannabinoid Hemp Regulations:

  • Cannabinoid potency
  • Heavy metals
  • Microbial impurities
  • Residual pesticides
  • Mycotoxins
  • Residual solvents and processing chemicals
  • Terpenoids (if tested)

These regulations are in place to boost the profile and success of licensed businesses and cut down on gray-market (and likely untested) cannabinoid products in New York. It’s also important to point out these regulations are the result of combining numerous states’ regulations into one protocol, so adhering to these regulations essentially sets up a hemp MSO for success in nearly all other state-based programs too.

Flower May Not Be Your Best Entry Point

The CHP initially banned smokable hemp flower of any kind in its early rule-making, but walked back on that—to an extent.

Even though dried hemp flower is allowed by the CHP, the yeast and mold contamination regulations—10,000 colony-forming units per gram—will make it extremely difficult for any outdoor hemp flower to pass contaminant testing.

Hemp flower that is flagged for total yeast and mold contamination will need to be remediated (or sold into a different state market with lower thresholds for contamination). It is also worth noting that product grown outside New York and sold within the state will still need to meet these requirements for contamination.

If you are trying to sell hemp flower into the NY market, we recommend testing for yeast and mold immediately as well as testing for microbial contaminants (a total aerobic test).

Traceability Is Vital

The CHP’s testing requirements place a high value on traceability of batches to crack down on issues with contamination. Whether your organization is selling hemp extracts, vapes, edibles, or flower into the NY market, ensuring your products are both clean and traceable is key.

Easy traceability helps cut down on widespread contamination issues. No matter how careful operations are, the fact is that sometimes, contamination slips through the cracks. Batch traceability allows regulators and business owners to properly—and quickly—trace affected products, pulling them off shelves before they can do potential widespread harm.

Take Advantage of Untapped Opportunities

Now that these testing regulations are enforced, expect a huge consumer demand for products that meet their expectations. If operators haven’t already, we recommend simply switching to New York-specific panel testing. Again, the NY panels cover and build on regulations from several other states, so if you’re not able to sell into the NY market for whatever reason, your chances of being in compliance with testing regulations in other states is still pretty high.

MSOs that adhere to regulations out of the gate or move quickly to get into compliance will be well positioned to succeed in one of the nation’s largest and most lucrative CBD and hemp cannabinoid markets.