This one is for the QA folks!
We’ve been hearing from many of our new partners that the only solution they are using to clean their cannabis trimming equipment is isopropyl. In some cases, this is the only product that QA teams have qualified. The problem is that isopropyl is a disinfectant. Disinfectants aren’t cleaners and aren’t especially effective for removing cannabis resin. When used as the only product for cleaning production spaces and equipment, disinfectants are extremely harsh and speed up the breakdown of equipment (of all types, not just trimming equipment.)
HEALTH CANADA DOESN'T CARE...
It seems like this tamp-down on any solution other than iso is based on a mistaken belief that only cleaning products explicitly “approved” by Health Canada can be used within the framework of the ACMPR. This couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, Health Canada is completely agnostic on cleaning methods and products for use in cannabis production. There aren’t any cleaners specifically recommended, nor are there any cleaners specifically prohibited. The only thing required by the regulation is that whatever cleaners are used, no leftover contamination by a cleaner is left on the end product.
What the regs really say...
What the regulations DO explicitly require is that an LP establishes a sanitation program that allows for effective cleaning of the equipment and prevents contamination. If ANY cannabis resin remains on the equipment after cleaning, this leftover resin could be a potential source of contamination (for mold or bacteria, for example) to future batches.
So, what that comes down to is this:
If an LP is ONLY using a disinfectant to clean their trimming equipment, they’ll be hard pressed to completely remove all cannabis resin. This will put them in violation of Sections 70, 71, and 73 of ACMPR.
To avoid this risk, we recommend a two-step process:
- For cleaning, use a food-safe degreaser with hot water. There are lots of options out there on the market, but send us a message if you want to talk about some specific products that we’ve had success with. For removable components, we recommend a soak for 15-30 minutes, followed by a pressure wash.
- Once the equipment has been cleaned (using the food-safe degreaser) and rinsed, surfaces can be wiped with isopropyl. This process uses iso for its appropriate and intended purpose: disinfection.
If you want to take a much deeper dive into the regulations, download our document Cleaning and Maintaining Equipment Under the ACMPR.
- NO, you are not required to clean exclusively with isopropyl. It’s not intended as a cleaner, accelerates equipment wear, and could actually put you in violation of ACMPR regulations.
- YES, you ARE permitted to use food-safe degreasers when cleaning your trimming equipment. In fact, it’s the best and safest way to remove cannabis resin.