September 12, 2018, California
After giving a grace period of six months to the nascent cannabis industry of the state, California authorities finally implemented stricter marijuana regulations from July 1st. Crackdowns against unlicensed marijuana businesses and confiscation of unlabelled products were promptly started after the end of grace period. Many cannabis stores had to throw away unregulated marijuana products worth millions of dollars.
The state-licensed cannabis labs also started to test the products available on the shelves after the implementation of new rules. According to the news filed by the Associated Press, of 10,695 product samples tested in the 31 licensed labs of the state, 1904 have failed to comply with the new provisions prescribed by California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control. This implies that these products can’t be put back on the store's shelves.
However, the good news is that the two-thirds of these cannabis products don’t entail the presence of harmful chemicals and contaminants. So, all those consumers who have brought and consumed these products don’t have to worry about any substantial health risk. The testing failures are largely due to the difference between information given on the packaged labeling and the product itself.
Nevertheless, minor traces of pesticides, residual solvents, and mold contamination have been detected in some of the products. The levels of contaminants found in these products are not deadly. Nevertheless, the use of such products can still result in severe side effects.
Tinctures, edibles, and lotions made from cannabis have the highest rate of lab test failures. Oils and other concentrates have come second in failing to comply with the new rules. Cannabis buds, which don’t go through extensive processing, have shown the lowest failure.
As mentioned earlier, the two-thirds of those tested cannabis products didn’t fail because they were not fulfilling the health and safety standards. Their tests have simply come negative because of a slight change of information given on the labels. This is the reason why the state’s cannabis industry is calling for rescinding some of the stricter requirements prescribed in new labeling and packaging rules.
According to the businesses that have borne the brunt of these stricter rules, the products that fail the lab tests for the specific reason of ‘inaccurate claims on packaging level’ almost always mean that the levels of THC and CBD found in the products are slightly different from what is mentioned on the label.
According to the new regulations, the businesses have to destroy such products instead of relabeling them. Throwing away the entire batch of product just because of a little difference in the actual and labeled cannabinoid levels result in significant losses for the businesses. So, in order to product themselves from outright losses, cannabis businesses demand the permission to re-label the products with the right information of ingredients and putting them back on the shelves.
In addition, cannabis businesses also want to extend the allowed THC variance of ± 10 percent to ± 20 percent for edible products because it is really difficult to maintain the consistency throughout in culinary productions.