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Missouri Implements "Round Robin" Testing of Marijuana Products to Ensure Quality and Consistency

Photo: Missouri Independent | Skyler Berry at the Robust Cannabis production facility in Cuba, Missouri.

The Importance of Potency in the Marijuana Industry: Ensuring Quality and Consumer Satisfaction

In the competitive marijuana industry, potency reigns supreme. Producers all across the country are vying to offer the most intoxicating products to consumers. However, this presents a challenge for the labs responsible for testing these products.

This issue has been particularly prominent in states like California, where marijuana is legal. According to Josh Swider, the co-founder and CEO of Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs in San Diego, Missouri should pay attention to the lessons learned in these states.

In 2020, Swider started receiving inquiries from marijuana producers who wanted to guarantee a 20mg THC test result for their samples. This highlights the growing demand for accurate and reliable testing methods to ensure quality and consumer satisfaction in the industry.

Introducing the "honest lab" that refuses to compromise its integrity. This lab owner has seen the prices of testing skyrocket over the years, but still maintains their principles. Discover how they navigate the challenging world of cannabis testing, working with scientists across the country to create a guide of best practices.

One crucial recommendation they make is interlaboratory comparison, an essential tool for identifying flaws in the system. Join us as we delve into the world of lab shopping and the importance of maintaining transparency in cannabis testing.

Missouri has joined a select group of states that are taking extra measures to ensure the quality and accuracy of marijuana products. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state's regulating agency, can now instruct certified testing labs to double-check each other's work. This process, known as "round robin" testing, aims to prevent any discrepancies in THC potency or the presence of pesticide residue.

Up to 10 times a year, licensed testing labs will be directed by the state to collect marijuana samples from another lab and perform tests. These results will then be reviewed to ensure consistency and accuracy.

However, some testing lab owners in Missouri have expressed opposition to this new rule, stating that it duplicates existing requirements and places an unnecessary burden on them.

When recreational marijuana was approved by Missouri voters, the Department of Health and Senior Services had to implement new rules to adhere to the constitutional amendment. Among these rules is the interlaboratory comparison rule, which is a small part of the comprehensive cannabis guidelines that cover various aspects from packaging to event organizing.

These rules came into effect on July 30, following a public comment period and approval from the legislative Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

During a committee meeting, Amy Moore, director of the state's division of cannabis regulation, emphasized the importance of the new testing rule. She acknowledged that the challenges of regulating for-profit cannabis testing labs are widely discussed in the national cannabis regulatory community.

Discover the Testing Dilemma: No Standard Method in Place for Marijuana

When it comes to testing cannabis products, the lack of federal regulation poses a significant challenge. Unlike other industries where the federal government provides testing standards, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

This absence of standardized testing methods means that laboratories may employ different approaches, resulting in varying results for pesticide levels and THC potency, according to cannabis lab experts.

This predicament puts state regulating agencies in a tough spot as they lack the necessary resources to establish testing standards. Kim Stuck, CEO of Allay Consulting, a compliance firm for cannabis and psychedelics, explains that this issue has persisted since the industry's inception. While there is talk about addressing the problem, no state has successfully ensured that testing labs consistently produce accurate results.

However, California is aiming to change this by implementing a mandatory standard testing method. The cannabis industry is closely monitoring this initiative, which has been in progress since 2021.

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