Back in early April, California announced new testing regulations for the state’s legal cannabis industry that are slated to go into affect July 1. Now I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t cannabis already legal in California? What are these new regulations? How much money can I save by switching to Geico? Well, to answer your questions: Yes, cannabis is legal in California and the industry has been operating in a transitional phase since January 1; The new regulations will test for potency, pesticides, heavy metals, microbial contamination, and residual solvents.
The bottom line with regulations is this—the state has been operating a fully regulated cannabis industry since January 1 on a transitional basis, meaning that the state has been allowing for distributors to sell cannabis that adheres to current standards.
As of March 27, the state had issued 26 temporary licenses for testing labs. However, while many of the labs are gearing up and making sure they’re ready to test come July 1, many of the labs aren’t ready yet and aren’t sure when they will be. In addition to the concern around how many of the 26 labs will be up and running by July 1, there is also the question of how many more labs will be able to obtain the testing permits and how long it will take them to do so.
This leads to the fear that there will be a testing bottleneck when the new standards go into effect—potentially leaving billions of dollars worth of product on the sidelines, unable to be sold until tested, if it can be sold at all. This is starting to worry many growers in the state.
“Everyone knows that testing is already the bottleneck,” said Swetha Kaul, chief scientific officer at Cannalysis Labs, an analytical cannabis laboratory servicing Southern California
“We’ve seen this repeated in Colorado and in Oregon,” she continued. “They had (multiple) testing labs, and still they had these huge turnaround times, a lot of lag in trying to get samples processed.”
So, California’s booming industry is potentially headed for a bottleneck of getting legal, test cannabis to market, due to the fact that the July 1 deadline points to longer-than-usual wait time for testing their products, a temporary supply shortage in certified cannabis, and a an increase in demand for licensed labs. The state is working at breakneck pace to get testing labs up and running, the only issue is that when it comes to bureaucratic issues, a breakneck pace can seem like a crawl.
Luckily, we’re here to help. Our GreenLite Screener provides cannabis test results in just 15 minutes, letting you know if your product is headed for a green-light from the state testing labs (pun intended), or if you’re going to have to have some trouble come summer time. Contact us today and let us know how we can help your company ensure a safe product and a quick certification.