Marijuana: Inside proposed rules for hash and concentrates production
This month, state officials are hashing out just who can and can't make marijuana concentrates in Colorado -- setting safety guidelines for producers and consumers for both the recreational and medical marijuana industries.
Most rules for the recreational and medical marijuana industries were set months ago, but the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies determined that the Colorado Department of Revenue needed to clarify a few areas, including hash-making.
So DORA created a follow-up rulemaking committee that will wrap up its work later this month -- but not before public comment on the proposed rules, which, for the first time in Colorado, differentiate between the processes used to create shatters, waxes, ice-water hash and infused edibles.
The Concentrate Production Safety Working Group, comprised of MED officials, physicians, law enforcement, food hygienists, labor representatives and pot business owners, posted the draft rules last month. Among the more interesting points:
Critical-fluid extractions would be defined as extractions that use a "hydrocarbon solvent," which includes CO2 extractions as well as n-butane, heptane and propane; other critical fluids may be allowed by the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division at a later date. With the exception of CO2 extractions, all critical-fluid extractions must be done using a closed-loop system that recovers the gasses -- which means no more BHO made from disposable cans of lighter fluid.
All critical extraction facilities would also be required to have lab-grade vent hoods and exhaust systems installed. Glycerin, rubbing alcohol and ethanol are categorized as "solvent-based" extractions but would be treated much the same way as critical-fluid extractions with regard to producer and consumer safety.
Water-based concentrates would be narrowly defined as ice-water or dry-ice hash. The proposed rules also define "fat-based" concentrates, an interesting new phrase for things like pot-infused butter and edible cooking oils. Interestingly, the rules don't discuss dry-sieving and then pressing the kief into pucks -- arguably the world's oldest method of hash-making.
The rules would also codify just who can and can't produce each type of concentrate. Grow and dispensary licenses currently only allow water-based extractions, and even then, they must be conducted in a clean, designated area. To make BHO or shatter oil, though, shops will have to have a Marijuana Infused Products manufacturer license.
Continue for more about Colorado setting rules on hash and concentrates.