What Is Lab Shopping And Does It Contribute To Rising THC Levels In Cannabis? California Cracks Down

Due to the unrealistic levels of THC in some weed products these days, the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is looking into the widespread problem of "lab shopping," which is how marijuana growers search for the highest THC readings.

What Does the California Department of Cannabis Control Propose?

The DCC is seeking changes to regulations that would adopt a standardized cannabinoid testing method for use by all licensed laboratories. Precisely, Senate Bill 544 requires the DCC to establish standardized test methods by Jan. 1, 2023.
The idea of the regulations is that DCC staff help educate licensees and more effectively regulate the state’s licensed testing labs.

Under the proposed changes, announced on October 4, regulations would limit the applicability of the standardized cannabinoid test method to the testing of dried flowers, including pre-rolls. In addition, the DCC released a Notice of Further Modifications to Proposed Text and Modified Text of Regulations.

Public Participation

The rulemaking process provides the opportunity for public participation in the adoption of regulations via the public comment process. The 15-day public comment period ends October 20, reported Forbes.

Moreover, Christina Dempsey, deputy director of Policy and Research for the DCC said: “The regulatory package reflects the Department’s continued commitment to tackling issues with cannabis potency inflation and ‘laboratory shopping’ by cannabis businesses looking to secure THC levels that may be higher than what is contained in the cannabis flower or product.

“The potential for potency inflation is higher for cannabis flower products, in which higher percentages of THC can sometimes be used as the basis for marketing and higher sales prices to consumers,” Dempsey added.

In contrast, lab operators say they "feel pressured when growers want THC percentages above 30 percent." They believe this is not only unrealistic but also illogical, considering that THC levels alone will not determine the quality of the cannabis that is ignited.
According to Dempsey, the initial proposed regulations would have required the standardized cannabinoid test method to be used for all types of cannabis and cannabis products in the market. "The rulemaking process includes a significant opportunity for public participation in the adoption of regulations, particularly through the public comment process. We are deeply grateful to all those who submitted comments.”

Comments can be sent via mail or email by mail or by email. 

Photo: Courtesy Of Testalize.me On Unsplash

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