18% of cannabis products fail state test standards
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The California law that legalized recreational marijuana requires all cannabis product to be tested before sale.
In the first results released since the testing mandate took effect on July 1, the data from state regulators revealed that nearly 20% of the products that were tested failed to make the grade.
The State Bureau of Cannabis Control reports for the first two months of mandatory testing, 10,695 samples were tested and just over 1,900 samples failed, resulting in a failure rate of 18%.
PharmaLabs in the Midway District is one of a handful of licensed, accredited cannabis labs in the San Diego area, which is testing product from manufacturers and distributors.
Melissa Nutter, the lab director for PharmaLabs said the 18% test failure is not surprising to her. Nutter said testing methodologies are not standard, so if a manufacturer does research and development of a product at one lab and then goes to anther lab to test for legal compliance, the results may differ.
At least two-thirds of the failed product had faulty claims on the product label. Impurities and contaminants were less of a problem. The data showed 403 samples had higher than acceptable pesticide levels, comprising about 21% of the rejected samples.
One industry group is pushing for changes that would allow companies to challenge the results of a lab test. Another trade association representing growers said the 10% margin on THC levels is too narrow.
Even though the testing may be imperfect, many in the industry said a rigorous testing system is better for cannabis companies and the consumers they serve.