As of July 1st, 2018, California will require mandatory cannabis testing on all inhalable and edible products before they can be sold to the public. Growers are required to submit samples for cannabis testing that contain .35% of the total weight of the corresponding batch.
California’s cannabis testing requires a lab to perform nine different analyses of samples. These tests are listed below, along with the action levels that determine a pass or fail, where applicable.
Moisture Content and Water Activity For Cannabis Testing
For all batches, moisture content will be reported separately as a percentage.
Water activity levels must be below .65 Aw for all dried flower and prerolls.
Water activity levels must be below .85 Aw for all edibles.
Microbial Impurities For California Cannabis Testing
The following must be undetected in 1 gram of both inhalable cannabis and edibles:
Additionally, for inhalable cannabis, the following must also be undetected in 1 gram:
Pathogenic Aspergillus species:
Mycotoxin Cannabis Testing
Total of Aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, and G2 must not exceed 20 μg/kg
Ochratoxin A must not exceed 20 μg/kg
The laboratory must, at a minimum:
Examine both the exterior and interior of the dried flower sample
Examine the exterior of the cannabis product sample
The sample shall be deemed to have passed the foreign material testing if the presence of foreign material does not exceed:
¼ of the total sample area covered by sand, soil, cinders, or dirt
¼ of the total sample area covered by mold
1 insect fragment, 1 hair, or 1 count mammalian excreta per 3.0 grams
¼ of the total sample area covered by an imbedded foreign material
Heavy Metals Cannabis Testing
Inhalable cannabis goods must be below these thresholds to pass:
Cadmium – .2 µg/g
Lead – .5 µg/g
Arsenic – .2 µg/g
Mercury – .1 µg/g
Other cannabis goods must be below these thresholds to pass:
Cadmium – .5 µg/g
Lead – .5 µg/g
Arsenic – 1.5 µg/g
Mercury – 3.0 µg/g
California cannabis testing also includes Cannabinoid and Terpenoid tests, to ensure the product conforms to the labeled content for each Cannabinoid or Terpenoid. It also includes tests on Residual Pesticides, Processing Chemicals and Residual Solvents. For a complete list of all pesticides, chemicals, and solvents with their respective action levels, please see our article on California Cannabis Pesticide Testing
What happens if I fail?
Check out our Cannabis Remediation page to see what options you have after receiving a failing Certificate of Analysis from a cannabis testing lab.