Five years after California legalized marijuana in 2018, both state and industry players are still wrestling with test standardization. In response, California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the state to develop clear and specific guidelines to test cannabis products, reported dot.la.
The initiative comes under the new state law – Senate Bill 544, signed in October, which demanded that the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) create strict criteria and guidelines for testing a plethora of microbiological contaminants, pesticides, residual solvents, and cannabis compounds.
The standards will be established by 2023.
What labs test for and how they test cannabis samples is often at the discretion of the lab itself, which leads to a process that has come to be called ‘lab shopping.’ Cannabis processors and growers use labs that will produce more favorable results, even if they’re less accurate.
Ben Rosman, co-founder of the Michigan-based PSI Labs, explained that when clients don’t like the numbers they see, “they’re like, ‘I can find another lab who’s going to give me the numbers I like (…)”.
Meanwhile, Mehran Moghaddam, CEO and founder of Kurvana, a cannabis vape pen company, told dot.la that this is a complex issue, in that different testing labs use different instruments and methodologies.
Another Issue: Most agreed that regulating the legal cannabis market may end up bolstering the illicit cannabis market.
Published: January 05, 2022
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News