In Manitou Springs, Colorado, there is growing concern from local marijuana dispensaries over the disparity in THC results when different industry labs and testing methods are used. While there is not much inconsistency or difference in potency results when the testing is done by state-licensed testing facilities, there is a great deal of disparity from other industry testing labs.
Although marijuana has been legalized by the state, it has yet to be legally recognized by the federal government. Since there is no criteria in place from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marijuana testing, Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division had to step in to regulate testing. At the end of 2014, there were only 4,000 marijuana potency tests submitted to the state’s regulatory board from the state’s 16 licensed testing labs.
Morgan Iwerson, owner of the Emerald Fields dispensary, stated that it takes time to develop the right infusion process to get the appropriate amount of THC into each piece of edible marijuana. She regularly sends her products to different testing labs across the state and often receives inconsistent results.
“When we tested with these new labs, the results were all over the place so there was a huge variance from one lab to the next. And we are still finding that when we test with labs.”
KRDO News Channel 13 investigated and helped Emerald Fields to send some of its samples to several state-licensed testing facilities in Colorado so they could analyze the results. The samples were from the same batch. According to the original packing, there was no more than 40 mg of THC in each sample.
The results were consistent across the board. The THC potency for each sample ranged from 31.4 milligrams of THC to 33.86 milligrams of THC. Michael Thompson, Director of Emerald Field’s Science and Technology, was very surprised by the improvement in the results consistency. He said,
“It definitely could be more accurate from lab to lab, overall that’s not bad. A lot better than I expected.”
Several years ago, when Jim Bent, Vice President of Emerald Fields, sent samples off to different labs across the state, he received very different results from each lab. The comparison of Emerald Field’s recent and past results show that there has been some major improvement in THC testing standards. However, the state still needs to step in and standardize the testing process and equipment so that all marijuana testing labs in Colorado can obtain more consistent results.