California announces plans to institute mandatory statewide cannabis testing

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

California regulators have kick-started a brand new effort to ensure that cannabis producers abide by strict testing rules. A statement issued by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) recently revealed that mandatory statewide cannabis testing will soon be implemented.

The primary goal of the effort is to reduce the risk of discrepancies among the 41 actively-operating laboratories across the state.

According to pro-cannabis lobbyists, the new state law will enhance product quality and reliability, all the while deterring lab shopping and other methods that result in fraudulent test results.

For example, many cannabis businesses – including distributors, growers, manufacturers and processors are believed to seek out laboratories that will provide them with specific results in terms of THC contaminant and potency content. 

“This will bring additional consistency and accountability among licensed cannabis testing laboratories,” DCC spokeswoman Christina Dempsey said about the agency’s testing initiative.  “With a standardized method, laboratories can more easily identify and correct problems, and it will serve as an additional mechanism to ensure integrity.”

So far, two state-operated laboratories have been chosen to lead by example for other cannabis testing laboratories across California.

New state law prompted nationwide cannabis testing mandate in California

The DCC’s directive stipulating that all cannabis producers and laboratories in California must conduct valid testing was stimulated by a new law. According to the Agency, the main goal of the nationwide cannabis testing mandate in California is to ensure that labs are as transparent as possible in terms of executing testing procedures.

Some other cannabis-friendly U.S. states that have mandated cannabis testing methods similar to California’s include New York and New Jersey. The newly-introduced initiative seeks to form a reference lab via a cooperation with University of California, San Diego. 

Currently, regulatory oversight for California’s legal cannabis program is dealt with by the DCC’s Laboratory Services Division, which comprises around two dozen members of staff who operate the Cannabis Testing Laboratory and deal with everything from licensing to inspections.

Nationwide cannabis testing mandate in California: Why is cannabis testing important?

As the number of legal recreational and medical cannabis markets increases across the U.S., so too does the need for dependable and accurate analytical testing. Not only does this type of testing ensure consumer safety but also, it guarantees that businesses remain compliant with local, state and federal laws.

Examples of some chemicals that are often discovered during the Cannabis testing phase include cannabinoids, heavy metals, microorganisms, pesticides, residual solvents and terpenes.

One of the most recent news-worthy incidents involving cannabis testing occurred in Oregon, where authorities snatched $500 million worth of illegal cannabis. Weighing approximately 500,000 pounds, the unlicensed cannabis was reportedly stored in five different warehouses. 

A news release highlighting the incident described the incident as “epic.”