Cannabis Testing

Cannabis Testing

The legalization of medical and recreational cannabis (marijuana) has led to a new, quickly expanding laboratory industry. The maturation of this industry is leading to more stringent local and state regulations stretching from the growers and producers to the final sales of the products. Where and for what use cannabis is legal is an ever evolving, quickly changing map. In many cases, the cannabis testing laboratory is in a direct, legally binding position to ensure the safety of the product(s).

Cannabis Laboratories

Cannabis testing laboratories encompass a very wide swath of laboratories as they may test the final product and potency, purity and safety of that product, the seeds, soil and/or fertilizer requirements for fields or be involved strictly in research/pharma and/or pain management. In regards to potency and purity, these provide the basic standard requirements for business and include THC and cannabinoid related results, herbicides and pesticides, residual solvents (VOCs) and microbial contaminants (E. Coli, Coliform, Salmonella, yeast and mold). Confidence in the cannabis laboratories that perform this testing, and the assurance in the test results, is key. Many laboratories will seek ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. The ISO/IEC 17025 standard is non-prescriptive and flexible, allowing the organization maximum flexibility in determining what works best for their business needs.

Specific testing may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Potency (cannabinoids)
  • Terpenoids
  • Strain (terpenoid/cannabinoid ratios)
  • Residual solvents (VOCs)
  • Pesticides
  • Heavy Metals
  • Water Activity
  • Moisture Content
  • Foreign Materials
  • Mold/fungus/yeast and microbiological contaminants/pathogens


LIMS For Cannabis Laboratories

Cannabis laboratories must efficiently manage the analyses, tracking and reporting of the various cannabis products. A well versed, robust laboratory information management system (LIMS) is key to this management. A good LIMS needs to do more than generate a decorative report. It must efficiently and appropriately manage all data, both client, field and analytical and provide accurate, scientifically valid reports to clients and the appropriate regulatory bodies.

The Omega LIMS is capable of meeting the specific needs of a cannabis testing laboratory by providing the following features, among others:

  • Automated workflows to meet regulatory compliance
  • Real time access to laboratory work status
  • Tracking recreational versus medical cannabis
  • Integrated accounting and invoicing
  • Complete, automated QA/QC protocols
  • Thorough audit trail with non-conformance notes
  • Customized test reports in various formats
  • Ability to produce required EDDs (electronic data deliverables)
  • Internal audit trail if required
  • Full instrument integration
  • Ability to use barcodes
  • Support of remote or client sampling
  • Storage of chain of custody (COC) and other provided information
  • Ability to generate subcontract COCs as needed
  • Tracking of inventory and supplies
  • Ability to post to seed-to-sale systems
  • Improved transparency throughout all laboratory operations
  • Ability to post data/reports/invoices to clients via a web portal
  • Ability to track “cradle to grave” for all samples