Close to 20% of marijuana products in California have failed tests for potency and purity since the state started requiring the checks on July 1 – a rate some in the industry say has more to do with unrealistic standards and technical glitches than protecting consumer safety.
Testing has been especially tough on cannabis-infused cookies, candies and tinctures: About one-third have been blocked from store shelves.
Below are the findings in California’s testing of legal marijuana from July 1 through Aug. 29 . There were 10,695 samples tested and 1,904 fell short, according to the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) – and some samples failed for multiple reasons:
- Inaccurate claims on package label – 1,279 failures
- Pesticides – 403 failures
- Microbial impurities (mold, E. coli, salmonella) – 114 failures
- Residual solvents, processing chemicals – 99 failures
- Moisture (in cannabis flower) – 36 failures
- Homogeneity (even distribution of THC) – 25 failures
- Foreign material (insect fragments, hair) – 6 failures
The debate over testing isn’t just about lab procedures or allowable levels of pesticides. It all comes with a cost, which companies say is straining budgets.
Testing for a small, outdoor marijuana farm can typically cost $5,000 to $10,000 in California.
Here’s a rundown of failed batches in California by category:
- Cannabis flower – 5,355 batches tested, 567 failures (10.6%)
- Inhalable oils, waxes – 3,361 batches tested, 686 failures (20.4%)
- Edibles, tinctures, lotions: 1,979 batches tested, 651 failures (32.9%)
– Associated Press