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Despite what testing labs in California might say, cannabis recalls are likely to continue and increase in scale as the green rush continues. Marijuana Business Daily takes a deeper dive into the recalls plaguing California back in July.

According to interviewed testing lab executives, cannabis recalls will become less of a risk when the state’s METRC system gets running, and the recalls occur because of regulation confusion. The executive quoted in the article comments that the recalls were exceptions and not the norm.

There are a few important takeaways:

  • The Bureau of Cannabis Control does not independently test individual products but is taking additional steps to verify data from labs via Certificates of Analysis (CoA). The bureau is optimistic recall risks should decrease as stakeholders better understand regulations.
  • Policies and procedures are in place for licensed distributors that require all products to be tested and passed before shipping to retailers.
  • This is a fantastic opportunity for regulators to address gaps in current policies.
  • California must adopt standardized testing procedures. Across the 33 licensed labs, no two of them use the same equipment or methods.

Cannabis needs to take note of other regulated industries when it comes to testing and standards. Even in highly regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals and biotech, recalls happen. Producers should familiarize themselves with tests and methods used by their lab of choice.

Regardless, producers and stakeholders should take the initiative to implement internal standards and procedures for quality and consistency through Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)

  • Become familiarized with GMP concepts such as Specifications, which establish standards for materials and products tested against
  • Quarantine materials and batches until quality assurance passes them. These procedures prevent possible contamination.
  • Document and record all steps taken in production and have those records double-checked by dedicated quality assurance personnel
  • Test products before, during, and after production to eliminate inferior quality materials or batches
  • Use steps outlined in Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to qualify vendors and always request Certificates of Analysis.
  • Complete tracking and tracing through the supply chain and batch production process allows companies and regulators to pinpoint specific batches and materials.

Outside of METRC, industry experts and investors recommend that companies and management add software for added protection. Where cannabis has become legalized in states like California, Washington, Colorado, etc., the state boards require compliance with manufacturing regulations. A quality and batch management system that has good manufacturing practices built-in, such as InstantGMP™ MES, can eliminate recall risks, improve quality and consistency, and help companies scale up operations. If you’re a startup in cannabis, CBD, and hemp, be sure to check out our Greenfield Grant.

By the way, a dedicated set of Cannabis SOPs is due out later this year. Get in touch to get the scoop!

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