The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) Lab Division recently issued a notification to all licensed cannabis testing laboratories in the state, that they are going to begin on-site inspections and confirming test results on flower and other cannabis products that already passed testing according to a report by MJBizDaily.
These enforcement efforts are intended to ensure that marijuana testing laboratories accurately report test results. Testing labs that fail to do so may face disciplinary action, such as suspension or revocation of their license. This renewed focus on testing accuracy could have potentially serious implications for the California cannabis industry, if labs don’t comply with the DCC’s requirements and regulations.
Warning Notice from DCC
The warning notice from the DCC was issued as a result of reports that some testing laboratories have been inflating high THC results. The notification warned that any labs found to be participating in such practices could face serious disciplinary action, up to and including license suspension or revocation.
DCC Director Nicole Elliott told MJBizDaily via email last Friday that “Randomly testing off-the-shelf products will continue to provide consumers with the confidence that the cannabis products they purchase have been tested and those test results are accurate.”
- Cannabinoids and terpenes
- Residual solvents and processing chemicals
- Residual pesticides
- Heavy metals
- Microbial impurities
- Moisture content and water activity
- Foreign material
After testing, labs report results on a Certificate of Analysis (COA). The COA says whether the batch passes or fails testing for each substance.
Labs can only issue COAs and results after they finish all tests. Labs cannot change them after they’re issued without permission from DCC.
Within one day of finishing a batch’s testing, the testing lab must:
- Upload the COA to the track and trace system
- Send a copy of the COA to DCC
What to Expect When You’re Inspected by DCC
The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) inspection process can be intimidating, but they have created a helpful checklist for companies preparing for their visit regardless of license type. Companies should make sure they have all the necessary information on hand so that their inspection process runs smoothly.
- That you should keep METRC updated
- Tag your products with correct UID tags
- Maintain an updated premises diagram of facilities
- Keeping your premises secure
- Staying Cal/OSHA compliant
- Understand the requirements specific to your certain license type
- What would happen if your business chooses not to comply
- Be aware of requirements not only for the DCC, but other state, county and local agencies inspection standards
The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is ramping up enforcement to ensure that marijuana testing laboratories accurately report test results, as there have been reports of labs inflating high THC results. It is important for all licensed cannabis testing laboratories in the state to be in compliance with DCC regulations, as disciplinary action such as suspension or revocation of their license may result if they are found not to be. This is important for consumers and medical patients to know exactly what’s in their medication, as cannabis has been proven to have a variety of medicinal benefits. At the end of the day, cannabis is medicine and patients should have confidence that their medication has been accurately tested.