How cannabis edibles get made and tested for THC levels in New York


“As a parent of a young child I know how important it is to safely store cannabis products and keep it out of their reach,” Chris Alexander, executive director of the New York Office of Cannabis Management, said of an educational campaign the state recently launched.

When it comes to adults, the ostensible risk is for someone to get way too high — an experience that even some seasoned potheads say has made them want to stay away from edibles.

Many working with cannabis say consumers need to be better educated about what an appropriate dose looks like. Sometimes, it could be 5mg of THC or less, which could mean eating a fraction of a gummy or candy bar.

“If you accidentally took 100 milligrams one time and had a very bad time with that, you know, I would have a bad time with that, too,” Silva said.

It’s unclear how much of a public health threat unregulated edibles pose beyond potentially containing excessive or inaccurately labeled levels of THC.

In addition to testing for potency, Phyto-Farma Labs conducts a range of tests to ensure that cannabis products, including edibles, don’t contain anything else that could be harmful to consumers. They rarely find anything that’s cause for alarm, although they currently test primarily regulated medical products, according to lab supervisor Caruso-Thomas.

Marco Pedone, the co-founder of Phyto-Farma Labs, said he’s willing to test any product a consumer brings in that they’re unsure about.

“It would be foolish to think that we would withhold that service from the public,” he said.

But he added that doesn’t mean he’ll offer his services to unlicensed edible makers and vendors. He made a distinction between those entities which are breaking the law under New York’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, and consumers who are legally allowed to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis.