California looks to standardize cannabis testing statewide

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California looks to standardize cannabis testing statewide

New regulations will protect public health and ensure consumer confidence


CALIFORNIA – Delivering on calls to strengthen uniformity in cannabis laboratory testing procedures, the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is proposing standards to lab testing methods across the state and is accepting public comments until August 2, 2022.

The regulatory package comes on the heels of concerns about cannabis potency inflation and “laboratory shopping,” by cannabis businesses looking to secure THC levels that may be higher than what is actually contained in the cannabis flower or product.

“One of the challenges we face in regulating an industry that is not federally recognized, is the lack of standardized, and validated methods for testing,” said DCC Director Nicole Elliott. “Individual, licensed laboratories use different methods which may produce inconsistent results and inaccurate data on cannabis cannabinoid content. DCC is working to change that so there is greater integrity in the market, accurate information for consumers, and confidence among stakeholders.”

Senate Bill (SB) 544 (Laird, 2021) requires DCC to establish standardized cannabinoid test methods by January 1, 2023. Cannabis testing laboratory is a license type established through the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (Business and Professions Code, section 26050). All cannabis goods are required to be tested by a licensed cannabis testing laboratory prior to sale to ensure they are free of harmful contaminants like molds, pesticides, and residual solvents and are labeled with the accurate amount of cannabinoid content.

“These standards build upon existing standards for testing laboratories by requiring them to utilize only cannabinoid testing methods designated by DCC,” Director Elliott added. “The ultimate goal is protecting public health and safety by providing consumers accurate and consistent information on the cannabis they purchase.”   

The proposed regulations will help DCC staff educate licensees and more effectively regulate the state’s licensed testing laboratories. To view the notice, proposed text of regulations and initial statement of reasons, please visit our webpage https://cannabis.ca.gov/cannabis-laws/rulemaking/.

The public may submit comments to DCC by 5 p.m., Aug. 2, 2022:

Comments may also be submitted verbally at the public comment hearing on Aug. 1, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For additional information visit https://cannabis.ca.gov.

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For additional information, contact: press@cannabis.ca.gov