folder Filed in Health, Policy
Cannabis Testing Lab Standards
Peter Cervieri

First, the good news.

More states are making cannabis testing mandatory. This means that before you walk into your local dispensary, the products on the shelf have been tested for everything from THC and CBD levels, to mold and pesticides.

And when a new harvest makes its way into the same dispensary from the same grower, guess what, it’s tested again.

Now the bad news.

Where testing is required, there’s opportunity to make money as a tester. Naturally, quite a few entrepreneurially minded people are getting into the testing game. And not all of them come with science degrees and rigorous processes in place to ensure accurate results.

There aren’t many regulatory or competency hurdles one needs to jump over (step over is more accurate) to open up a testing lab in most states. And there’s virtually no accountability for testing results coming back from the labs. The same cannabis product could be sent to three different labs and be returned to the client (whether it be a dispensary, a grower, an edibles manufacturer) with wildly conflicting results – from THC levels to pesticides detected.

What this leads to is labs that offer testing for the cheapest price and, not surprisingly, give passing grades to everything that comes through their facility. The Ryan Air no frills business model applied to cannabis testing.

Jeff Raber, CEO of The Werc Shop, a testing lab with facilities in California and Washington State, hopes to work with regulators across states to create proficiency testing protocols to ensure high standards and accountability for all labs that operate in the medical and recreational cannabis space.