Early Lab Tests Show 18% Failure Rate in California’s Cannabis Market Since July 1

Full article appears in Cannabis Business Times. Published September 14, 2018.

When the first batch of newly mandated California cannabis test results was made public in late July, the results weren’t terrific. About 20 percent of cannabis products had failed for one reason or another.

“First tests are in,” an Orange County Register headline read, “and 1 in 5 marijuana samples in California isn’t making grade.”

The statistics didn’t improve over the next month, either. From July 1 to Aug. 29, the Bureau of Cannabis Control received 10,695 certificates of analysis; 1,904 batches had failed.

That failure rate spans all major product categories, although it’s notably more pronounced among edibles. Out of 1,979 tested batches, 651 batches of edibles failed their laboratory tests (33 percent).

“Certainly pesticide residues are a problem, which are indicative of people trying to treat pests, but I think the types of tests they’re [failing] are mostly around food safety and E.coli and salmonella, which go into edibles, and then the other test is pesticides, which is people using unacceptable pesticides,” Jon Vaught, CEO of Front Range Biosciences, a Colorado-based agricultural biotech company with cultivation partnerships in California, told Cannabis Business Times.

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