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California's Cannabis Testing Labs Face Hurdles in Flower Product Evaluation

California’s Cannabis Testing Labs Face Hurdles in Flower Product Evaluation

California’s cannabis industry is encountering a significant challenge as many testing labs are currently unable to assess the potency of flower products, the favored choice among consumers. This hurdle stems from new guidelines implemented by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) at the beginning of this year, as reported by KTLA.

Under the new guidelines, labs that do not comply are barred from testing cannabis flower products, including buds and non-infused pre-rolls. While at the start of the year only 12 labs met the new requirements, recent updates from MJBizDaily indicate that six more labs have achieved compliance, bringing the total to 18.

The DCC introduced the rule change in the previous year, and it officially took effect on October 1, 2023, with full compliance required by January 1, 2024. The agency cited the need for standardized cannabinoid test methods to ensure consistent and accurate information for consumers regarding the cannabinoid content of cannabis products.

David Hafner, a spokesperson for the DCC, addressed concerns about potential delays, stating, “The Department has not been informed of any significant product delays, but there could be a slight delay in some products reaching dispensaries in the near term.” Hafner assured that the DCC has been prioritizing re-sampling requests from distributors affected by labs unable to conduct flower and non-infused pre-roll testing.

The primary goal of the new guidelines is to discourage the practice of “lab-shopping,” where testing labs inflate potency results to make cannabis products more appealing to consumers. By standardizing testing methods, regulators aim to ensure transparency and prevent misleading information.

Hafner also expressed optimism about the future, suggesting that more labs’ testing methods would be verified “in the near future.”

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