Lab-Testing D-Day looms for California weed growers and retailers
D-Day looms for weed growers and retail outlets in California. Their products must be lab-tested before going on sale from the 1st July 2018.
Their period of grace ends on that date and their products will undergo more stringent lab-testing for pesticides and solvents.
Since the legalization of pot at the beginning of this year, cultivators and dispensaries were given leeway to sell marijuana products provide that they were labeled “Not Tested.” That period of grace comes to an end on the 30th June 2018.
At present, labs take between five and 10 business days to test products but this turnaround is expected to take longer with the introduction of enforced testing.
The range of lab tests will increase
In terms of State regulations, the range of cannabis tests will increase and includes micro-biologicals, potency, pesticides and residual solvents. Heavy metals will be added to the growing list of enforced tests by the end of this year.
Up until now, weed testing was mainly confined to information about a product that assisted consumers with data such as potency levels. Apart from THC and CBD levels, marijuana was also tested for any harmful substances such as E.coli, molds, pesticides and salmonella.
According to State law, as from the beginning of July, sample amounts for lab testing have been stipulated which will undoubtedly be larger quantities than were previously required. Labs will have to test statistically significant amounts so that they can obtain samples that are representative of an entire batch.
The flower of a marijuana plant is an example of a batch, or what is being termed as a uniform grouping of product. Batches have to conform to one specific strain that has been grown and harvested at about the same period of time. Labs can test up to 50 pounds of one batch at a time. There is no specific time-period for lab-testing. This will be dictated by the amounts produced by each individual cultivator.
The co-founder of EVIO Labs, Lori Glauser, has advised cultivators to keep a sharp lookout on their licensed distributors who are responsible for transporting product from grow farms to test-labs.
How the test-lab chain works
Once the weed has been harvested and processed, the cultivator calls on the distributor to collect the product and to make arrangements for the test-lab.The lab sends a technician to the distributor’s premises where samples of the batches are tested.
EVIO also offers cultivators the option of an additional test for terpenes. The company has 11 labs countrywide, including Canada, and recently opened two labs in California situated in Berkley and Humboldt County.
Terpene testing provides information about the medicinal benefits and aromatic compounds found in marijuana.Glauser says this form of testing provides in-depth information about the effect of the plant and is invaluable to consumers seeking specific terpene profiles.
California is one of the States that has adopted lab-testing regulations before allowing product onto the open legal market. It has been phasing in its lab-test requirements since the beginning of the year, with the last series of rules becoming effective on the 31st December.