Testing cannabis for molds, toxic metals and pesticides poses many challenges, some of which have little to do with the mechanisms of the scientific rigors of the actual testing process. Properly working the heavy machinery found in marijuana testing labs such as centrifuges and chromatography equipment takes an in-depth understanding of the machinery and the knowledge to properly interpret the data. Beyond that, contending with the incredibly competitive and fast growing cannabis industry has its own challenges that some, such as the Sacramento based Sequoia Analytical Labs that was recently suspended for failing to test for pesticides, are simply unable to handle.
Cannabis testing labs vie for business like any other industry and keeping up with new testing standards is a simple must. 700 different batches of marijuana, that could amount to 50 pounds of cannabis each, were distributed to the Californian public having not been tested for 22 pesticides the state mandates testing. California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control discovered that Sequoia Analytical Lab’s director, Marc Foster, had been falsifying reports that the cannabis had been passing pesticide tests when in fact they had not been tested for the toxins at all. What sort of recall on the cannabis will take place is still unknown.
“They told us they saw an irregularity in the reports being submitted,” said Steven Dutra, the general manager of Sequoia Analytical Labs.
“We were told by our lab director that all these new pesticides had been set up and that all was going well with that,” Dutra said. “Of course, we found out last Tuesday that was not the case.”
“As ownership and management, we were blindsided by this,” Dutra told FOX40.
California officially began the commercial sale of state regulated marijuana in January of 2018. It also mandated that by the summer, all cannabis being sold to the public be lab tested. It is a step to protect California marijuana consumers and to show the rest of the country that California is willing to go above and beyond to meet the same standards any other product legally sold in the U.S. must meet. It has been a tough transition for many growers in California from what is often referred to as the gray market, which persisted in California for 20 years where very little regulation existed.
Taking shortcuts like Sequoia Analytical Labs took is nothing new even to the most established industries in the country, however shortcuts are not acceptable. The cannabis industry must set itself apart to show that the business of cannabis can provide a true benefit to our economy from all perspectives. Digipath Labs is establishing itself in Humboldt County, California to bring best practices in marijuana lab testing to the California cannabis industry. We have worked diligently to provide the people of Las Vegas the highest of standards in marijuana testing so that tourists from around the world can come and know that the cannabis products they purchase are free from molds and toxins. The marijuana industry has taken another major step in the right direction in California and it behooves all of us to go above and beyond to prove that cannabis has a rightful place in our overall economy.