California Marijuana Products Failing Testing Standards

California Marijuana Products Failing Testing Standards

18.09.2018

To 20% of marijuana products in California failed the tests for efficacy and cleanliness, as the state began to demand a check on July 1, a figure that some in the industry believe has more in common with unrealistic standards and technical failures than protecting consumer safety.

Testing has been especially tough on cannabis-infused cookies, candies and tinctures: About one-third have been blocked from store shelves.

Below are the findings in California’s testing of legal marijuana from July 1 through Aug. 29 . There were 10,695 samples tested and 1,904 fell short, according to the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) – and some samples failed for multiple reasons:
  • Inaccurate claims on package label – 1,279 failures
  • Pesticides – 403 failures
  • Microbial impurities (mold, E. coli, salmonella) – 114 failures
  • Residual solvents, processing chemicals – 99 failures

Moisture (in cannabis buds) – 36 failures

  • Homogeneity (even distribution of THC) – 25 failures
  • Foreign material (insect fragments, hair) – 6 failures

The debate over testing isn’t just about lab procedures or allowable levels of pesticides. It all comes with a cost, which companies say is straining budgets.

Testing for a small, outdoor marijuana farm can typically cost $5,000 to $10,000 in California.

There have been similar complaints in Colorado, where cultivators are dealing with new, required pesticide tests, and in Washington state, where cannabis businesses are pushing for mandatory testing.

Here’s a rundown of failed batches in California by category:

    • Cannabis buds – 5,355 batches tested, 567 failures (10.6%)
    • Inhalable oils, waxes – 3,361 batches tested, 686 failures (20.4%)
  • Edibles, tinctures, lotions: 1,979 batches tested, 651 failures (32.9%)