November 22, 2017

Cannabis Testing Labs

As commercial cannabis businesses of all stripes gear up for January 1, 2018, an aspect of the prep work for these businesses that should not be overlooked is testing of marijuana. Cannabis labs –with their capacity and capability for testing for heavy metals, pesticides, and myotoxins– not only ensure CCBs’ consumer base with a cleaner and healthier product; they also will be providing a keystone safety framework for the regulated commercial marijuana market moving forward.

With so much at stake, it’s imperative for more Los Angeles-based laboratories to get online with state regulations and compliance. In April, the Bureau of Cannabis Control released proposed regulations for laboratory testing. The Bureau expects to release updated regulations later this week. While the regulations are imperfect, they could be a blessing in disguise for laboratories that are ready to expeditiously get accredited by the State of California.

Here’s a brief list of some of the key aspects labs will be testing for:

  • Labs will have to test for homogeneity; the presence or absence of various analytes, including cannabinoids, residual solvents, micro-organisms, pesticides, heavy metals, and mycotoxins; water activity and moisture content; and filth and foreign material.
  • They must report in milligrams the concentration of THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBG and CBN.
  • To get a full annual license, labs will need to be accredited by the International Organization for Standardization. But the state will offer 180-day provisional licenses to labs that meet all other qualifications while they work on their ISO accreditation.
  • Labs have to maintain detailed plans for chain of custody for samples, employee training, storage and more. And they have to make those plans available to the bureau if asked.

As we approach 2018, cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and sellers will be dependent on accredited laboratories to test their products before sale and distribution for potency, purity and other important information. Whether a testing laboratory is compliant with the regulations issued by the state will significantly affect its marketability and profitability.

Are you a testing lab and want to ensure that you’ll be compliant and ready come January 1, 2018? Contact MMLG via email or phone and get the right advice from the right experts.