Lab Testing and Product Integrity

Adoption Date: April 22, 2019


(1) “THC” means tetrahydrocannabinol, and, with regard to flower or concentrate, is intended to mean the active THC, which is the amount of THC plus amount of THCa after decarboxylation.

(2) “Finished Cannabis or Cannabis Product” means Cannabis or a Cannabis Product that is in its final form before being transferred to a Retailer or consumer.

(3) “Contaminant” includes heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides, solvents, and microbial impurities, with the exact action levels and tolerances to be determined by State requirements and additional Standards as may be adopted.

(4) “Potency Testing” includes testing for the presence and amount of THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, and certain terpenes.

(5) “Homogeneity Testing” means testing performed on a Cannabis Product to determine the uniformity of THC concentration, other cannabinoid concentration, or terpene concentration throughout the Cannabis Product.

Standard 3.01. Potency Variance.
  1. The concentration of THC or other cannabinoids (including, not limited to cannabidiol (CBD) cannabinol (CBN), or cannabigerol (CBG)) stated on the label of Cannabis or a Cannabis Product must match the concentration stated on the corresponding certificate of analysis from a testing laboratory for that batch within a 15% variance relative to the stated potency.
Standard 3.02. Laboratory Independence.
  1. A Cannabis Establishment shall not contract with any testing laboratory to perform Contaminant Testing, Homogeneity Testing, or Potency Testing that is required by law or these Standards if the Cannabis Establishment has a financial interest in or controlling position with that testing laboratory.
  2. As used in Standard 4.02, “financial interest,” means an equity ownership, debt ownership, or any rights to profits of the testing laboratory.
  3. As used in Standard 4.02 “controlling position,” means any position which confers the legal right to control or manage the business of the testing laboratory, including being an officer or director or the testing laboratory, a partner in a testing laboratory that is organized as a partnership, or a member in a cannabis business that is organized as a limited liability company.
Standard 3.03. Laboratory Accreditation.
  1. A Cannabis Establishment shall not contract with any testing laboratory to perform Contaminant Testing, Homogeneity Testing, or Potency Testing that is required by law or these Standards unless the lab has received ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for the relevant required by state law and this Standard, or accreditation under a comparable standard.
  2. To the extent available and practicable, a Cannabis Establishment shall utilize laboratories for testing that participate in proficiency testing or other interlaboratory comparison testing for each of the measurement functions in their scope of accreditation
  3. If the state in which a Cannabis Establishment is licensed does not contain any testing laboratories that satisfy the accreditation requirement of Standards 4.03(a) and (b), that Standard shall not apply.
Standard 3.04. Contaminant Testing and Claims.
  1. A Cannabis Establishment shall not make any statement, including in its packaging, labeling, advertising, or during the sales process, regarding Contaminant levels in its Cannabis or Cannabis Products, unless such statement has been reasonably verified and confirmed by testing at a laboratory satisfying these Standards. For reference, this includes claims that Cannabis or a Cannabis Product is “pesticide free,” “chemical free,” or similar statements.
  2. Such statements shall also conform with Packaging and Labeling Standard 2.12 and Advertising Standard 3.03, prohibiting false or misleading statements, and with Advertising Standard 3.04(b), prohibiting claims that Cannabis or Cannabis Products are “safe” because they have undergone laboratory testing.
Standard 3.05. Sampling Integrity.
  1. When selecting test samples for laboratory testing, a Cannabis Establishment shall use procedures that produce samples that are reasonably representative of the batch.
  2. A Cannabis Establishment shall not alter the samples or expose them to irregular conditions intended to manipulate the results of laboratory testing. Comment: One example of a practice that would violate Standard 4.05(b) would be the use of an ozone generator on a sample to eliminate microbes prior to testing in way that does not reflect how the rest of the batch was treated.
Standard 3.06. Effective Date.
  1. A Cannabis Establishment shall comply with the requirements of this Article beginning on the 120th day after the date this Article is finally adopted by the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) or its membership in the NACB, whichever is later.