The cannabis movement has made great strides in the past couple of years. Although there are many passionate and enthusiastic people involved in the community, there was no safety and quality testing regulations or requirements for years. This has now changed with the incorporation of mandatory lab testing. The goal is to develop testing and certification standards that could be built into the cannabis production process.
- 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.
- Labs can also test for terpenes.
- They must report in milligrams the concentration of THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBG and CBN. Samples “pass” if they don’t vary from the stated THC or CBD levels by more than 15 percent.
- Labs must report whether samples have more than allowed amounts of pesticides such as acephate, residual solvents such as butane, impurities such as Salmonella, heavy metals such as arsenic, mold that averages 5 percent of the sample by weight and more.
- 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.
- Lab techs have to wear safety goggles, hair nets and other sanitary gear plus use sanitized tools when collecting samples for testing.
- Labs have to collect 0.5 percent of the total cannabis batch for testing. Batches must be under 10 pounds.
- 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.