New cannabis regulations for testing, labeling, and packaging
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – While cannabis for adult recreational use has been legal since January 1, a new set of legal requirements could shake up the current supply of marijuana available for sale at dispensaries.
The new regulations imposed by the State of California took effect on July 1, mandating certain standards for testing, labeling and child resistant packaging. At Outliers Collective, a dispensary near El Cajon, sales director Betsy Romero said her dispensary has been preparing for the new regulations, by making sure all products are in compliance with the law. Those that weren’t laboratory tested, properly labeled or child tamper-proof were removed from the shelves.
The state Bureau of Cannabis Control requires dispensaries to sell only marijuana that has been tested for pesticides, contaminants, and microbial impurities. At PharmLabs, an accredited ISO/IEC cannabis testing lab in the Midway District, sample intake specialist Alicia Morf said after a sample is tested, a Certificate of Analysis is issued to allow that product to be sent to the retailer.
The lab will also determine the plant’s potency, testing for levels of THC and CBD, so that the information can be included on the product label, as now required by law.
The transition from a largely unregulated industry to one that has a host of new legal requirements has been a bumpy one. Cannabis business attorney Michael Cindrich said some of his clients had hoped the state would extend the deadline for complying with the new regulations. The State of California had given cannabis retailers a six month period from January to June 2018, to sell off their untested product and prepare for the new testing and packaging standards.
Cindrich said one of the problems his business clients face is the lack of local regulations that allow businesses to cultivate, manufacture, and distribute cannabis. “Because there are so few local regulations, there aren’t enough businesses that are fully licensed that are up and running, that can provide these regulated products to the distributors and to the retail outlets,” Cindrich said.
He also said there are not enough cannabis testing facilities in California. Cindrich and other advocates for the cannabis industry are predicting a temporary shortage of lab tested marijuana and cannabis products, until supplies can catch up.
The new state regulations formally took effect July 1, 2018. The requirements are meant to protect the consumer, and to make sure that cannabis related products are safe for the consumer.
KUSI’s Sasha Foo has the details.