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Trimmers: Your Last Line of Defense

Foreign material found in cannabis products can be mitigated by your last line of defense, trimmers.

Cannabis cultivation requires months of preparation and execution before a farmers’ efforts produce a successful harvest. With the steady decline in the wholesale price of cannabis in recent years, alternative methods of post-harvest processing have been implemented to continue profitability. The traditional ways of processing flower by hand has slowly been replaced by mechanical methods, and although farmers are being cost conscious, they must stay aware of factors that could ultimately cost them more money.

The regulations set forth by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (§5722) allows for a small amount of foreign material to be present in products that are sold in retail outlets, but not much. Per the regulations, a product shall have passed foreign material testing if the presence of foreign material does not exceed the following:

1) 1/4 of the total sample area covered by sand, soil, cinders, or dirt

2) 1/4 of the total sample area covered by mold

3) 1 insect fragment, 1 hair, or 1 count mammalian excreta per 3.0 grams

4) 1/4 of the total sample area covered by an embedded foreign material

Consider trimmers part of your quality control programs. Many factors can influence the various forms of foreign material that are analyzed by testing laboratories. These can include, but not limited to plant pests, storms, harvesting methods, storage methods, processing methods and more. Hand trimming allows for cannabis flower to be looked over in detail before they are packaged and sampled for testing. Sometimes cutting costs in one area, could lead to increased costs in the end, or worse yet, products having to be destroyed. Treat your trimmers well, they are your last line of defense!

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