canna californie comp

Regulatory process launched for standardized cannabis testing methods in California

Currently, cannabis regulators in California are seeking to discuss proposed rules to standardize cannabis testing methods within their state. This initiative represents an effort to prevent cannabis companies from "shopping" for products with higher THC concentrations in laboratories.

Too permissive a law leading to abuse

Current California regulations already require that cannabis products be tested for cannabinoid content and for the presence of possible contaminants. However, there is no specific and uniform methodology for testing by licensed laboratories. This means that the results of various analyses of the same cannabis sample can vary significantly from one facility to another and this becomes problematic...

As consumer demand for products with THC content increases, some cannabis companies are taking advantage of this lack of rigour in the testing process by scouring different laboratories for those whose testing methodology will yield results showing a higher THC content.

DCC to the rescue: a standardised method for all laboratories involved

Well aware of this drift, the State has asked the Californian Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) to look into the matter. On Friday 8 July, the DCC announced the launch of a regulatory process to develop standardised testing methods. Ultimately, each accredited laboratory will have to adopt these methods.

Nicole Eliott, director of the DCC, said in a statement that one of the challenges she and her colleagues face in regulating an industry that is not yet truly recognised at the federal level is the lack of strictly standardised and validated methods.

The fact that accredited laboratories use different methods can lead to inconsistent results and inaccurate data on the cannabinoid content of cannabis. The DCC is working to change this in favour of greater integrity in the marketplace, with accurate, more reliable information for consumers and increased confidence between stakeholders.

As such, the DCC will be taking public comments on the draft regulations for cannabis testing methods until August 2 this year.

These standards, building on those already in place, will require the testing laboratories in question to use only those cannabinoid testing methods designated by the DCC. She added that the ultimate aim is to protect public health and safety by providing consumers with clear and consistent information about the cannabis products they buy.

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