Moldy Weed testing update: Outcomes of the AOAC Emergency Validation with Patrick Bird of AOAC

Bird is a Technical Consultant for AOAC International.

October, 2021

What is the Association of Official Analytical Collaboration International?

Learn more about the AOAC, why it’s important to the cannabis industry, and how it differs from the AOCA Research Institute.

Why does AOAC Certification matter?

Why should cannabis consumers care about whether their cannabis is being tested using AOAC-certified methods, versus methods that are not AOAC certified?

What is an Emergency Response Validation (ERV?)

Why did AOAC International initiate one for cannabis mold testing in Michigan last year?

What did the Emergency Response Validation (ERV) for cannabis testing in Michigan entail?

What were the outcomes of this ERV?

What regulatory checks are mandated by the state and approved by AOAC?

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) now requires testing for Total Yeast and Mold to be done only using AOAC-approved methods. What impact does this have on consumer safety and on the consumer’s confidence that mold testing is accurate for the cannabis they consume?

What can you say about the accuracy of cannabis mold testing in Michigan prior to the Emergency Response Validation?

Should consumers trust the cannabis mold data in Michigan from that period of time?

Did the Emergency Response Validation (ERV) on cannabis testing in Michigan achieve its desired results?

As a follow up, are consumers safer because of it?

Does the use of AOAC-certified methods ensure that safe products are reaching consumers?

What are the differences for quantifying mold levels?

Here, we discuss the between traditional plating-based methods and rapid automated methods, including Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

The ERV contained the first AOAC International-approved PCR-based method for mold testing.

In the Michigan Emergency Response Validation (ERV) for mold testing in cannabis, for the first time, AOAC International approved a Polymerase chain Reaction (PCR)-based method for detecting mold production in cannabis.

What areas of cannabis safety testing are next in line for AOAC Certification?

What role do you expect AOAC International to play in a federally-legal cannabis future?

Does the FDA use AOAC Certification for guidance in the same way that state regulators do?

For more information, visit AOAC’s website at We invite you to follow Steadfast Labs on Instagram @steadfastlabs.official.

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