Colorado Cannabis Testing Labs

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Does Colorado License Independent Cannabis Testing Labs?

To obtain the required license to test marijuana in Colorado, cannabis testing facilities must be third-party owned and free of external or internal pressures that could compromise the competency of their testing processes and outcomes. The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) of the Department of Revenue is the state agency responsible for issuing marijuana testing licenses in Colorado.

In addition to a state license, marijuana testing facilities must also be approved in the local jurisdictions where they are located. For example, Denver and Pueblo issue cannabis testing licenses through their local licensing authorities. In Colorado, testing facilities licensed to test medical marijuana are not permitted to test adult-use marijuana.

Requirements for Marijuana Testing Labs in Colorado

Colorado requires both medical and retail cannabis testing facilities to acquire ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation or the most recent ISO/IEC standard. In addition, a testing facility must:

  • Establish a system for sample tracking
  • Establish a system to retain and maintain records
  • Establish a quality assurance and control program
  • Employ qualified personnel
  • Be located in a secured environment
  • Participate in proficiency test program
  • Maintain a list of analytical process

Colorado Required Tests for Cannabis Products

To test cannabis and cannabis products in Colorado, marijuana testing facilities must obtain certification from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for one or all of the following categories:

  • Elemental impurities
  • Microbials
  • Mycotoxins
  • Pesticides
  • Residual solvents
  • THC and other cannabinoid potency
  • Water activity

The required tests for various cannabis and cannabis products are specified in Rules 4-120 and 4-125 of the Colorado Code of Regulations.

How Do Colorado Marijuana Testing Labs Submit and Report Test Results?

All marijuana businesses in Colorado are required to have an inventory tracking system for the purpose of record-keeping. Therefore, marijuana testing facilities must report all positive and negative test results to the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) at the end of their testing. If a test sample fails, the result must be added to the inventory tracking package associated with it.

How Much Does It Cost to Test Cannabis in Colorado?

The cost of testing cannabis in Colorado is determined by factors like number of samples submitted, test type, and the cost of the equipment used for the test. In Colorado, the average cost of testing a sample of cannabis for pesticides is $100. Individuals or marijuana businesses hoping to submit samples for testing can visit the websites of the testing laboratories to request for their price quotes.

What Happens to Cannabis Products That Fail Lab Tests in Colorado?

In Colorado, samples from failed lab tests can be retested after a process of remediation or decontamination. During the process of remediation, a marijuana product manufacturer may process the failed sample and the batch of pre-rolled cannabis into a solvent-based marijuana concentrate from which two new test batches must be produced. The batches will, however, be destroyed if they fail any of the required contaminant or potency testings.

If marijuana flower or trim fails a contamination testing except for microbials and pesticide tests, the marijuana business that submitted the batch must either destroy the failed batches, harvest batches, or decontaminate them. If the marijuana business decides to decontaminate the batch for the purpose of retesting, two new test batches must be submitted either to the same marijuana testing facility used for the initial testing or to two new testing facilities. If either or both batches fail the required contamination test, the marijuana business must destroy the failed batches and the entire harvest batch and document the destruction. If both test batches succeed, the entire harvest batch may be processed into marijuana concentrates or products.

List of Cannabis Testing Labs in Colorado

Colorado has seven marijuana testing facilities that are licensed by the Marijuana Enforcement Division:

  • Agricor Laboratories De LLC
  • Agriscience Labs Inc.
  • Bona Fides Medical
  • Gobi Analytical Inc.
  • Nordic Analytical Laboratories LLC (Denver county)
  • Nordic Analytical Laboratories LLC (Pueblo County)
  • Phytatech Co LLC
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