Two cannabis businesses in California have recalled their products from stores after receiving negative results from their testing facility. These are the first recalls that have been implemented since new cannabis testing regulations were introduced to the state on July 1.
In late July, The Bloom Brand recalled its oil cartridges after a lab test showed contents of myclobutanil, a common fungicide which was banned in cannabis by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Just two days later, Lowell Herb Co. pulled its pre-rolls from 74 dispensaries.
The notable thing about this story is not that cannabis had some bad junk in it, but that these products made it to the shelves before anyone noticed. In California, cannabis products are only supposed to go to a retailer after a lab has cleared them as meeting their standards.
In this case, both the Bloom Brand’s and Lowell Herb’s products had already been approved by labs. Bloom only recealled their oil after they received conflicting results from another lab. Lowell Herb pulled its product because their lab just reversed its original decision.
If you’re thinking that this doesn’t make much sense, you’re not alone. Leafly, which reported on the story, said they’d spoken to many within the cannabis industry who said that it was not uncommon to see conflicting results from two different facilities. “While labs are all using the same set of rules, there are no standardized methodologies for how labs achieve data,” the article writes.
The new strict regulations set down at the beginning of July might have something to do with the confusion as well. What was legally acceptable for years was very suddenly illegal. Zachary Eisenberg, Vice President of San Francisco-based testing lab Anresco Laboratories, said he felt that a “misunderstanding of the regulations is most likely.”
The new regulations caused considerable turmoil in the industry even before they were implemented, with producers forced to dispose of half a billion dollars worth of product which would be valueless in the legitimate market once July 1 rolled around.
Later this year, lab testing standards for cannabis will become still more strict. Beginning on December 31, 2018, cannabis products will also have to be tested for mycotoxins, terpenes, and heavy metals.
Photo via Flickr user WeedPornDaily