Process Validation and Sampling Procedures

Process Validation and Sampling Procedures
February 18, 2018 Jill Ellsworth

In the state of Colorado, the Marijuana Enforcement Division has instituted something called Process Validation for growers who prove to pass testing consistently. Once process validated, growers only need to test one batch per month to remain compliant. Check out our Colorado Marijuana Regulations page to read more about sample submissions.

How do I become process validated?

To become process validated, you must test all harvest batches over the course of at least six (6) weeks. During this time, at least six (6) different batches must have gone through testing.  If all samples pass, you will become process validated and will only need to test one batch per month.

Should any batch fail testing, this six week validation period will restart. This process validation will last for one year, and then you will need to go through this process once again to renew it.

*Make sure to check the “process validation” box in Metrc when creating the manifests for your samples, or it won’t count towards getting validated*

Sampling Procedures

As of January 1st, 2018, the MED has new guidelines for how to properly select samples for submission. These procedures can seem relatively confusing at first, but in reality are fairly simple. Here is what you need to know:

The MED subdivides full sample weights for submission into many .5g “samples.” For instance, a harvest batch of up to 10 lbs requires a 4g sample to be sent. The MED labels this as eight .5g samples. The reasoning behind this is that these small “samples” will be taken from different physical locations in a bag, container, or shelf where the batch is being stored.

Below are examples of different sampling locations within a tray (left) or turkey bag/plastic container (right).

The MED has provided a spreadsheet to help randomize the selections based on the type of storage container you are using, and can be found here.

Whoever collects the samples must wear nitrile or latex gloves, which they should change in between batches to reduce cross contamination. We also highly recommend wearing a surgical mask to avoid human contamination.

Once samples have been taken and placed in their containers, which should be sealed with tamper-proof tape, they are to be placed in a freezer or cooler, no warmer than 45 degrees Fahrenheit, until delivered to the testing lab.

For more information, see the Marijuana Flower Sampling Procedure document provided by the MED.