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Cannabis Regulatory Agency Announces New Testing Requirement for MCT Oil

Today, Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) issued a technical bulletin announcing that MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil will be added as a target analyte for marijuana vape cartridges as part of the Sampling and Testing Technical Guidance for Marijuana Products, effective October 1, 2024.

MCT oil, commonly derived from coconut or palm oil, is primarily used in oral supplements and food products. However, when aerosolized and inhaled, MCT oil may pose dangers to respiratory health. Inhalable marijuana products that fail testing for MCT oil cannot be remediated.

From a public health and safety standpoint, the potential for adverse effects with MCT oil underscores the importance of safety guidelines for product development,” said CRA Executive Director Brian Hanna. “Michigan’s licensed marijuana businesses must prioritize respiratory safety when formulating or using inhalable products, opting for ingredients that have been thoroughly evaluated for their compatibility with lung health. I look forward to when our new state reference laboratory is up and running, advancing the health and safety of Michigan cannabis consumers with advanced testing for diluents.”

“Several of our retail members have been proactively pulling and testing their inventory to ensure the brands they showcase on their shelves do not contain MCT oil,” said Robin Schneider, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. “Moving forward, this testing will take place before the retailers purchase inventory from producers, easing the burden on retailers and ensuring that the products they sell are safe. Required testing for MCT oil will further protect cannabis customers from vape-related lung illnesses and is a win for both the industry and consumers.”

"I fully support the state's decision to restrict the use of MCT oil in vape cartridges,” said MiNORML Executive Director Anqunette Sarfoh. “The health and safety of cannabis consumers must always be our top priority. Emerging evidence suggests that inhaling MCT oil can pose serious respiratory risks, and it's imperative that we take proactive measures to prevent potential harm. By enforcing stricter regulations on vape product ingredients, Michigan is taking a significant step towards ensuring a safer cannabis industry for everyone and we commend the state's commitment to protecting consumers.”

"I applaud the CRA's decision to ban the use of MCT oil in all regulated vape cartridges,” said Anton Harb Jr., an Iraq combat veteran and founder of the Veteran Access Program in Michigan. “As the cannabis industry matures, so will the scientific and regulatory safety measures protecting it. This regulatory decision helps ensure the continued safety and well-being of all Michigan cannabis consumers."

The CRA is committed to evidence-based decision-making when implementing technical guidance for licensed laboratories. As research into marijuana use, safety, and testing advances, the Sampling and Testing Technical Guidance for Marijuana Products may be revised and updated to reflect these changes.

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