Monday, May 10, 2021

Annual Decontamination of Cannabis Facilities


A cannabis product may fail contaminant testing if it has unsafe levels of microbials, heavy metals or pesticides. Among microbials, the most common is powdery mildew mold, aspergillus, or bile-tolerant, gram-negative bacteria. Each can have a dangerous effect on human health, especially in medicinal users who are immunocompromised. As testing regulations tighten over the cannabis industry, the need for high-level, effective decontamination options has become paramount. The heightened standards have seen approximately 20-30% of recreational product failing their microbial tests. To prevent their product from failing testing, companies need to maintain an optimum growing environment for plants and plan an annual decontamination to remove any and all microbial life.

When it comes to indoor grow operations, decontamination is of particular importance. Many cultivators struggle with mold and rot, never understanding the link between decontamination and a healthy grow operation. Tidying up spilled dirt, wiping down containers, and handwashing are basic sanitation measures. Decontamination goes beyond that. It eliminates organic threats like mold spores, fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Spores can spread and settle on many surfaces inside the grow room including lights, bulbs, and hardware. A scheduled downtime every year, whether it is room by room or the entire facility at once, offers the opportunity for complete decontamination to ensure sterility of the space. Chlorine dioxide gas is the optimal solution for any decontamination scenario as it is a gas at room temperature, ensuring it will come in contact with every spore on every surface, even the tiniest of cracks and crevices. Gaseous chlorine dioxide is an EPA registered sterilant that can be utilized prior to any plants entering the space to ensure any pre-existing microorganisms and their spores be remediated. The chlorine dioxide gas decontamination process can be easily scaled up to volumes of millions of cubic feet. Chlorine dioxide is also able to be quickly aerated as it will not condense on surfaces or absorb into many materials. ClorDiSys Solutions’ pure chlorine dioxide gas is one of the gentlest decontaminating agents available and should not be considered in the same as liquid chlorine dioxide products.

Most cannabis users rightfully assume the products they buy from dispensaries are safe and free from harmful pathogens. No matter whether decontamination is required by law, companies should still ensure their product is clean for their consumers’ sake. Scheduling an annual decontamination can provide that level of sterility needed.