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Cannabis Tech

California Prepares to Roll Out Additional Cannabis Testing Regulations July 1

  • Starting July 1, all cannabis products must be lab-tested before becoming eligible for sale at Californian, marijuana dispensaries.
  • EVIO Labs, which has 11 testing facilities throughout the U.S, will now require a larger batch than what was usual to ensure purity standards.
  • The company also anticipates a longer turn-around time across the board, however extensive tests also allow for further research on “terpene,”  an aromatic compound in the plant that is believed to procure a heartier, enjoyable smell–which increases the sensory value.
California Prepares to Roll Out Additional Cannabis Testing Regulations July 1

California cannabis cultivators and dispensaries likely have their eyes on the calendar as it inches toward July 1, the date when all cannabis products sold in the state must be lab-tested according to additional state regulations.

When the legal adult-use market launched on Jan. 1, any product cultivated or produced after that date had to be tested according to a certain set of rules, but the state provided a grace period that allowed dispensaries to sell untested product as long as it bore a “Not Tested” label. After July 1, however, all products sold through dispensaries must be tested, and California regulators are increasing the number of pesticides and solvents for which labs must test.

To keep a watchful eye on their products, cultivators should ensure that their licensed distributors test their products, according to Lori Glauser, co-founder of EVIO Labs, which operates 11 labs across the U.S. and Canada. The company recently opened EVIO Labs Berkeley and acquired a lab in Humboldt County.

“It’s the distributors that are going to be engaging with the labs,” Glauser said. “And then once a distributor engages with a lab to perform testing—one or more labs—then the lab will come out to the distributor’s site and sample from the batches of product at the distributor’s site.”

The lab will select samples in the amount required by state law, which might be more than what growers have been used to providing in the past, Glauser added. Labs must ensure that they have a statistically significant amount to get a representative sample of the entire batch. A batch is a uniform grouping of product—with flower, for example, it would be a uniform batch of one strain that was grown and harvested at approximately the same time, usually a whole room. Labs will test up to 50 pounds of a batch, and if less than 50 pounds was grown at a time, they sample the same equivalency of whatever amount was grown.

The frequency of testing will depend on how frequently the grower is producing, Glauser added. Turnaround time for testing is currently between five to 10 business days, depending on the suite of tests needed. “It is possible that when things get busy with the labs, which may happen after July 1, that turnaround time might get a little bit longer,” Glauser said.

The scope of testing after July 1 may also be surprising to cultivators and their distributors, she said. A substantial list of pesticides, residual solvents, and micro biologicals will be added, as well as potency testing requirements….

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