To our Aloha Green Apothecary
Recently there has been a report concerning ethanol levels, and presence of trace amounts of lead in
Aloha Green Apothecary's SPAMC cartridges. We understand this news may sound alarming and want our
patients to know that all our products have always been in compliance with the Hawaii State
Department of Health’s standards. In fact, the Department of Health confirms that all our products
sold pass the state's strict lab testing. To help clarify, we’d like to answer a few questions for
Why is there ethanol in our cartridges?
When manufacturing Liquid Aloha Cartridges, we use CO2 extraction to separate cannabinoids from plant
matter. After the CO2 extraction, a small amount of ethanol is then used to clarify and purge the
oil of any extra residuals or waxes and help the product to assume a viscosity that allows it to be
administered in a vape cartridge. The ethanol we use is high quality food grade grain ethanol. This
process has given us the best results for extracting cannabinoids and terpenes effectively. After
clarification, the last step is removing or purging the ethanol.
After purging solvents some residual amounts will remain. Our target level of ethanol was previously
5000ppm (parts per million) or 0.5%. This is based on the
FDA and pharmaceutical guidelines for ethanol. The Hawaii State Department of Health does
a testing limit for ethanol. In light of recent findings, Hawaii licensees have been working with
Hawaii State Department of Health to create standards in ethanol residuals.
What is considered a safe amount of Ethanol? And why is there
inconsistencies in testings?
At the end of 2019, Colorado (which is considered the leading state in medical cannabis) set their
ethanol limit to 1,000 ppm. From 2009 - 2019, Colorado had no set testing limits related to ethanol.
We have provided our full compliance reports of ethanol levels which was not published, but many of
our cartridges are already well below 1,000ppm including the cartridges recently tested. But these
results were not shared. Over time, ethanol evaporates leaving behind a lower amount of residuals.
We are unclear to why or how an additional amount of ethanol was found in the same batches SPAMC oil
Up until this point, there are no studies on the effects inhalation of cannabis products that contain
ethanol. Although there are no industry standards in Hawaii for ethanol, we have committed to
lowering our target level of ethanol in future SPAMC cartridges to 1,000ppm (0.1%) or less.
Is there any lead in my cartridge?
There has also been a concern regarding heavy metals in our SPAMC cartridges. We work very closely
with our distributors to ensure that Aloha Green Apothecary only carries the most up to date,
advanced cartridges in technology and safety. Our distributors have provided us with heavy metal
testing certificates for each batch of hardware. Any lead found in a cartridge is located in the
electrical components of the cartridge. These electrical components are surrounded by a ceramic
heating element which when in contact with our cannabis oil, helps to provide an even heat
distribution, and a steady consistent vapor. That ceramic core is housed in stainless steel
cylinder. The intended design is to have no electrical wires directly touching any cannabis oil. We
are unclear of the standard of testing that was provided in the published report, but we stand by
the word of our distributors who test with cannabis related laboratories who are used to handling
In addition, our current full compliance testing includes heavy metals for each of our SPAMC oils.
The state has a limit of 6ppm for lead. Up to date certificates of analysis are available for
viewing at each dispensary. As of this writing, Aloha Green has never tested positive for any lead in our products. We
stand by the safety of our hardware.
While we understand that this news may sound concerning, please know that Aloha Green Apothecary’s
products have always been in compliance with the Hawaii State Department of Health’s product
standards. Patient safety is our number one priority and we will continue to lead the local medical
cannabis community with our best foot forward. Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.