What YOU need to know about Cannabis Testing in California for 2018

 

Certified third party cannabis lab testing will be required for all cannabis products sold commercially starting January 1st, 2018. Listed below is a link to the full cannabis testing regulations, per the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.

 

Note - These are the full regulations, those interested in just testing laboratory regulations skip to page 86.

(Chapter 6- Testing Laboratories) http://www.bcc.ca.gov/law_regs/bcc_prop_text_reg.pdf

 

The regulations are extensive and will not be fully discussed here. However, there are some key points to the regulations that we feel must be highlighted. Most importantly, the testing requirements for every analyte will be phased-in over periods of 2018 (not required all at once).

 

Below is a list of the requirements that will be phased-in over their respective periods. Each new phase-in will include all requirements from the previous phase-in. The newest proposed regulations require that ALL cannabis/cannabis products harvested/manufactured on or after their respective phase-in dates will undergo mandatory testing for the following analytes:

  1. Cannabinoids;

  2. Foreign material;

  3. Heavy metals;

  4. Microbial impurities;

  5. Mycotoxins;

  6. Moisture content and water activity;

  7. Residual pesticides;

  8. Residual solvents and processing chemicals;

  9. If tested, terpenoids;

  10. If tested, homogeneity.

Here is a breakdown of how the phase-in is proposed to take place:

 

First Phase - January 1st - June 31st, 2018

  • Cannabinoids
    • THC; THCA; CBD; CBDA; CBG; and CBN
  • Moisture Content
    • A cannabis sample shall be deemed to have passed moisture content testing if the moisture
      content does not exceed 13.0%
  • Category II Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals (pass/fail activity levels not listed)
    • Acetone, Acetonitrile, Butane, Ethanol, Ethyl acetate, Ethyl ether, Heptane, Hexane, Isopropyl alcohol, Methanol, Pentane, Propane, Toluene, Total xylenes (ortho-, meta-, para-).
  • Category I Residual Pesticides (pass/fail activity levels not listed)
    • Aldicarb, Carbofuran, Chlordane, Chlorfenapyr, Chlorpyrifos, Coumaphos, Daminozide, DDVP (Dichlorvos), Dimethoate, Ethoprop(hos), Etofenprox, Fenoxycarb, Fipronil, Imazalil, Methiocarb, Methyl parathion, Mevinphos, Paclobutrazol, Propoxur, Spiroxamine, Thiacloprid
  • Microbial Impurities
    • Required tests for ANY inhalable cannabis or cannabis product:
      • Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (E.Coli) is not detected in 1 gram
      • Salmonella spp. is not detected in 1 gram;
      • Pathogenic Aspergillus species A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, and A. terreus are not
        detected in 1 gram.
    • Required tests for ANY other cannabis product:
      • Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (E.Coli) is not detected in 1 gram;
      • Salmonella spp. is not detected in 1 gram.
  • Homogeneity in edibles
    • The laboratory shall analyze a sample of edible cannabis product that contains more than one
      serving per unit to determine whether the edible cannabis product is of homogeneous THC
      content.
    • A sample of edible cannabis product shall be deemed to have passed homogeneity testing if
      the relative standard deviation of THC concentration between the samples collected does not
      exceed plus or minus 10%.

 

Second Phase - July 1st - Dec. 30th, 2018

IN ADDITION to the previous requirements, the following tests will be required:

  • Category I Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals (pass/fail activity levels not listed)
    • 1,2-Dichloroethane, Benzene, Chloroform, Ethylene oxide, Methylene chloride, Trichloroethylene
  • Category II Residual Pesticides (pass/fail activity levels not listed)
    • Abamectin, Acephate, Acequinocyl, Acetamiprid, Azoxystrobin, Bifenazate, Bifenthrin, Boscalid, Captan, Carbaryl, Chlorantraniliprole, Clofentezine, Cyfluthrin, Cypermethrin, Diazinon, Dimethomorph, Etoxazole, Fenhexamid, Fenpyroximate, Flonicamid, Fludioxonil, Hexythiazox, Imidacloprid, Kresoxim-methyl, Malathion, Metalaxyl, Methomyl, Myclobutanil, Naled, Oxamyl, Pentachloronitrobenzene, Permethrin, Phosmet, Piperonylbutoxide, Prallethrin, Propiconazole, Pyrethrins, Pyridaben, Spinetoram, Spinosad, Spiromesifen, Spirotetramat, Tebuconazole, Thiamethoxam, Trifloxystrobin
  • Foreign Material - test conducted by viewing with the naked eye
    • 1/4 of the total sample area covered by sand, soil, cinders, or dirt;
    • 1/4 of the total sample area covered by mold;
    • 1 insect fragment, 1 rodent hair, or 1 count mammalian excreta (poop, feces) per 3.0 grams;
    • 1/4 of the total sample area covered by an imbedded foreign material.

 

Third Phase - Dec. 31st, 2018 and beyond

IN ADDITION to all previous requirements, the following tests will be required:

  • Terpenoids
    • The laboratory shall analyze a sample of cannabis or cannabis product to determine whether
      the terpenoid profile of the sample conforms to the labeled content of terpenoids.
    • A sample shall be deemed to have passed the terpenoid testing if the concentration of
      terpenoids does not exceed the labeled content of total terpenoids, plus or minus 10 percent.
  • Mycotoxins
    • A sample shall be deemed to have passed mycotoxin testing if both the following conditions
      are met:

      • Total of aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, and G2 does not exceed 20 µg/kg of substance
      • Ochratoxin A does not exceed 20 µg/kg of substance.
  • Heavy Metals (pass/fail activity levels not listed)
    • Cadmium, Lead, Arsenic, and Mercury
  • Water Activity
    • A cannabis (flower) sample shall be deemed to have passed water activity testing if the water activity
      does not exceed 0.65 Aw (Aw = water activity units, or the partial vapor pressure of water in a substance divided by the standard state partial vapor pressure of water.)
    • The laboratory shall analyze edible cannabis products to determine the level of water activity.
      A solid or semi-solid edible cannabis product shall be deemed to have passed water activity
      testing if the water activity does not exceed 0.85 Aw.