Close to 20 percent of marijuana products in California have failed to pass tests for potency or purity since the state began mandating such testing July 1, a new report finds.
Cannabis-infused cookies, candies and tinctures have been hit hardest, with about a third being banned for sale, the Associated Press said.
Only a small number have been withheld from sale due to safety hazards such as unacceptable levels of bacteria, solvents or pesticides, according to the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.
Overall, 11,000 samples of marijuana products were tested in July and August, with nearly 2,000 failing to pass. Sometimes failure to pass simply means a labeling change is required, but in other instances the product must be destroyed, the AP said.
“Mandatory statewide testing is a new thing and it’s going to take some time for everything to run smoothly, but on the whole we’re pleased with how things are progressing,” Bureau of Cannabis Control spokesman Alex Traverso told the AP.
Not everyone is happy with the process, however.
The California Growers Association, which represents the marijuana products industry, said potency testing is especially problematic. The group believes the target set by the bureau for THC — the chemical in pot that provides the “high” — is too narrow, so costly rejections become common.
And, “even if the [testing] lab admits it made an error, there is no way to change those results,” Bryce Berryessa told the AP. He’s an association board member and CEO of TreeHouse dispensary in Santa Cruz County. Berryessa is also president of La Vida Verde, which produces infused cookies.
“Labs are not perfect. Mistakes get made,” he said.