The Missouri Division of Cannabis Regulation (DCR), in a recent communication with state facility licensees, announced the extension of a series of temporary waivers and variances from the final cannabis regulation rules, originally set to take effect on July 30, 2023. These waivers, which delay the compliance requirements on certain aspects of cannabis testing and reporting, are designed to give licensees additional time to adapt to the new regulations.

Details of the Waiver and Variances Among the key waivers issued are:

Delaying the requirement to test for additional cannabinoids such as THCV, CBDV, and Δ8-THC until December 28, 2023.
Postponing the inclusion of vitamin E acetate in chemical residue screening for inhalables and concentrates.
Temporarily waiving the residual solvent testing for raw plant material.
Extending compliance on water activity and moisture content screening for certain marijuana products.
Easing the requirements for foreign matter screening.
Deferring the mandatory inclusion of terpene analysis in testing licensee’s scope of accreditation.

According to DCR, these waivers are necessary to allow licensees sufficient time to integrate with the impending statewide track and trace system changes and to align with the testing final rules.

DCR emphasizes the expectation that licensees will actively work towards compliance by the specified dates. Failure to comply post-waiver could result in disciplinary actions. DCR and Metrc will communicate upcoming system changes to facilitate this transition.

These temporary measures are seen as a balancing act, allowing the industry to adjust to new regulations without compromising the state’s commitment to health and safety standards.

DCR has come under fire in recent months for what has been called inconsistent administration of rules and application of variances and waivers. A recent report by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules questioned the Division’s approach to guidance and variances. During that hearing, Representative Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, said, “In the last year, we talked a little bit about the prospect of delaying the application of these rules. Not just those that were issued through this process, but their overall rules about packaging, which seemed to have a whole lot of confusion around (them). I hope the department is listening and still will consider doing that.”

In the letter to operators, Andrea Balkenbush, Deputy Director of the Division of Cannabis Regulation, wrote, “We look forward to working with all licensees as we continue to implement Article XIV and adult use in Missouri.”

For more details on the final rules, visit Missouri’s official regulations page.

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