California’s New Batch Testing Requirements

By Michael Jensen, Chernis Law Group

California’s new batch testing requirements are proving difficult to meet for the California cannabis industry. Beginning July 1, 2018, testing requirements for products became fully implemented. Under the new rules, all products must be batch tested for pesticides, microbial impurities, residual solvents, homogeneity, foreign material, and moisture.

The Bureau of Cannabis Control—the regulatory authority for retailers, distributors, and testing laboratories—has started to release weekly data on passing and failing products. The most recent reports from October 9 and 15 are reproduced below. In the October 9 report, of the 16,050 batches tested, 2,684 failed (16.7%). In the October 15 report, of the 16,869 batches tested, 2,804 failed (16.6%).

Diving deeper into the numbers, it is clear that testing compliance is most difficult for manufacturers of edibles, tinctures, and topicals, which have a failing rates of nearly 30%. Additionally, label claims are the most common reason for noncompliance.

Under the title 17 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), section 40405(a)(4), respective THC and CBD contents for a package must be included on the label. To pass testing for THC and CBD content, the product must test within 10% of the content indicated on the label. Title 16, CCR § 5724(d). Fortunately, inaccurate label claims are curable, and a may be re-labeled by certain distributors. Title 16, CCR § 5303(c).

Navigating the regulated cannabis market in California is becoming more complicated than ever. If you are operating a licensed cannabis business and need assistance with regulatory compliance, Chernis Law Group is ready to assist you.

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