Hi all, I work at the only medical marijuana extraction lab in my state. Unfortunately I have to keep exact information confidential, but its probably the FIRST STATE that comes to mind.
Small state, so currently we are the only supplier for concentrates, we have co2 oil we put into carts, distillate, RSO, shatter and wax.
In our state, there is only ONE testing lab that we are able to use, this is the ONLY lab that applied to the state to test medical cannabis products. We are not allowed to search for any additional third party testing, and are trying to get our in house testing up and running, but shimadzu has been dropping the ball on us recently. I’m sure you can already see some issues.
We send out test samples, and they send back a sheet that lists each cannabinoid, the testing method and percentage. There is also a section for residual solvents as well, same layout. They use GC-fid and LC, so we have two values for many cannabinoids (not the acids). We do NOT receive the chromatagrams, for any samples, just the list described above.
Our results can be all over the place. We constantly have CO2 oils coming back at high 80’s, some have even been in the 90’s for THC percentage, with total cannabinoids as high as 93%. This was with post kiefed plant material, so emphasis on low quality going in. These numbers to me seem ridiculous, especially since our distillate test around the same.
At the same time, these high testing CO2 oils also normally have anywhere from 5-15% ethanol still in them. We had a test that was 92% cannabinoids, and also said there was 15% residual ethanol.
I know that there are things besides cannabinoids and ethanol in the oil, it is a dark orange color, and will move around in a container at room temperature. It was purged at 170F in a thin layer for more than a day, so even if there was residual ethanol, i would expect it to realistically be way lower and closer to 1% than 15…
Our CBD CO2 oil does not go through any winterization, and is never mixed with ethanol. Yet somehow the test results often show there is still 2+% ethanol in the sample.
I have tried talking to my boss, he said that they have tried to bring up these issues with the testing lab before, but the lab basically said “you don’t know what you are talking about” and ended it at that. The previous manager of our lab quit because of those negative interactions with the testing lab. We are currently labeling all our products with their test results, even if that means putting out a CO2 oil that is 88% THC and 12% ethanol. I am in no way comfortable with this, but I have been ensured that any negative consequences from this ( I have brought it up multiple times to bosses) will fall on the lab only.
What would you do in my situation? is there any authority that can talk to to enlighten them of the current situation? We have tried talking to the lab but they get angry quite easily and have not sent us any chromatagrams at the least, which I asked for. It’s hard to make any improvements on our products when I cant trust the test results. I also can not reach out to another lab because we are not allowed to. I have very little faith in test results from them, and these results are used to formulate tinctures and other consumables, and make me doubt the validity of the posted potency.
Any advice or even just an anecdote about what you would do is appreciated.