Massachusetts Cannabis Testing Labs

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Does Massachusetts License Independent Cannabis Testing Labs?

Yes. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) licenses independent testing laboratories in the state. A Massachusetts independent testing laboratory license issued by the CCC authorizes the laboratory to test marijuana and marijuana products, including marijuana-infused products, meant for sale in the state.

Requirements for Marijuana Testing Labs in Massachusetts

According to Massachusetts cannabis laws, independent testing laboratories must have an ISO 17025:2017 accreditation or be accredited to the International Organization for Standardization 17025 by a recognized third-party accrediting body approved by the CCC. Also, an independent testing laboratory must be independent financially from any marijuana treatment center, marijuana establishment, or licensee.

Massachusetts Required Tests for Cannabis Products

In Massachusetts, marijuana and marijuana products may not be sold or otherwise marketed for medical or adult use unless independent testing laboratories have tested them. Per Section 501.160 of the medical use of marijuana and adult use of marijuana regulations, marijuana and marijuana products must be tested for the cannabinoid profile and contaminants, including, but not limited to, mildew, mold, heavy metals, plant growth regulators, and pesticides.

In addition, final ready-to-sell marijuana vaporizer products must be screened for heavy metals and VEA (Vitamin E Acetate). Note that the Cannabis Control Commission, at its discretion, may require additional testing to safeguard the public's health and safety.

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

Under Section 15(a)(3) of Chapter 94G of the Massachusetts General Laws, independent testing laboratories must report results indicating contamination in tested cannabis samples to the Cannabis Control Commission within 72 hours of identification. Per 935 CMR 500.160(3), a marijuana treatment center must have a written policy for responding to laboratory test results indicating contaminant levels above the acceptable limits established by state laws.

The policy must include:

  • Notifying the Massachusetts CCC within 72 hours of laboratory test results showing that the contamination cannot be remediated and disposing of the cannabis production batch
  • Notifying the Massachusetts CCC of any information regarding contamination as specified by the CCC or immediately upon request by the CCC

Note that the notification must be from both the MTC and the independent testing laboratory separately and directly.

How Much Does It Cost to Test Cannabis in Massachusetts?

Prices for cannabis testing vary in Massachusetts. Generally, businesses pay the following estimated fees for cannabis testing in the state:

  • Cannabinoid Profile: $50
  • Terpene Profile: $25
  • Heavy Metal Analysis: $120
  • Pesticide Analysis: $180
  • Residual Solvents Screen: $100
  • Microbiological Analysis: $150
  • Mycotoxin Screen: $50
  • Vitamin E Acetate Screen: $50

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

Marijuana or products that fail testing for contaminants must be reanalyzed without remediation, remediated, or disposed of.

If a licensee opts to reanalyze a sample that initially failed testing, they must submit a sample from the same batch for reanalysis to the original independent testing laboratory. If the sample successfully passes all previously failed tests at the initial laboratory, a sample from the same batch must be sent to a second independent testing laboratory for a confirmatory test. The sample is deemed safe for sale only if it passes the second confirmatory test at the second laboratory. A marijuana or marijuana product that fails the second confirmatory test cannot be sold, transferred, or dispensed to consumers without undergoing remediation. Otherwise, the licensee must dispose of any such product.

If a licensee chooses to remediate a failing marijuana or marijuana product, they must submit a new test sample to a licensed independent testing laboratory, which may include the initial testing laboratory, for a comprehensive full-panel test. Remediation is limited to a maximum of two attempts. If the marijuana or marijuana product fails any test after the second remediation attempt, it must not be sold, transferred, or dispensed to consumers or licensees. In such cases, the marijuana establishment or licensee is required to dispose of any product that does not meet the testing standards.

List of Cannabis Testing Labs in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission does not include a list of certified cannabis testing laboratories on its websites. However, the state has at least 6 approved independent testing laboratories. These include Kaycha Labs, Proverde Labs, MCRLabs, and CDX Analytics.

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