As a pioneer state in the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, Colorado has a lot of hurdles to overcome. One of them is ensuring quality testing in marijuana laboratories, which have mushroomed all over the state within the past year.
Although Colorado is already developing testing standards through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Marijuana Enforcement Division, customers are still encouraged to exercise due diligence before engaging the services of a testing laboratory.
Thinking of dealing with a pot lab? Here are six questions that you should ask to gauge the quality of its products:
- What do you use to test for potency?
Liquid chromatography is the most accurate method of testing for potency. On the other hand, gas chromatography is less expensive and more common, but it is also less accurate in differentiating neutral and acidic cannabinoids, thus overestimating the potency of a weed product. A good lab should have a full complement of analytical instruments that they can use for specialized tests depending on the application.
- Are all your cannabinoids measured against Certified Reference Materials?
According to The Cannabist, Certified Reference Materials are high quality standards supplied by a chemical manufacturer. They come with a Certificate of Analysis conforming their purity. Such a thing is available for testing 11 cannabinoids, although most labs only report five significant compounds. This might indicate a problem with the selectivity of analysis. In general, find a marijuana lab that has the ability to report 9-10 cannabinoids to indicate good selectivity.
- Are you state-certified?
Though there are only a few certifications available in the state of Colorado for now, your marijuana lab should at least be certified in potency and residual solvents testing. Results of these tests can be used to pass regulatory requirements.
- How long have you been testing marijuana?
Experience should definitely play a big role in your selection of a weed lab. Try to find something that has been testing for at least a year, hence already establishing a solid reputation in the industry. Laboratories that have only been in the business for less than a year might find it difficult to conduct specialized testing.
- What kind of testing do you offer?
Offering a full range of contaminant tests is important for any type of pot lab since it ensures product safety. Make sure that the lab you choose has conducts contaminant testing, including microbiological, pesticide, heavy metal, and aflatoxin screening.
- What is your turnaround time for samples?
Labs that make you wait for a long time are not only inconvenient, but could also lead to false results because of sample degradation. You should already receive results within a few days after submission. There should also be rush testing as needed.
Does your chosen marijuana laboratory fulfill these requirements? Voice your opinions in the comments section below—your opinion matters to the nation.