Pennsylvania Cannabis Testing Labs

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Does Pennsylvania License Independent Cannabis Testing Labs?

Pennsylvania does not have a state agency that tests marijuana products on its behalf. The state, through its Department of Health, issues laboratory approvals to independent and third-party owned medical marijuana laboratories that have fulfilled all necessary requirements for marijuana testing. Approved marijuana testing laboratories in the state can only test medical marijuana and medical marijuana products.

Requirements for Marijuana Testing Labs in Pennsylvania

To prove their competence and ensure reliable test results, marijuana testing laboratories in Pennsylvania must obtain and maintain ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. Furthermore, an approved testing laboratory is required to:

  • Employ at least one qualified director to oversee the identification, collection and testing operations of their laboratory
  • Establish a quality assurance program that includes their chain of study protocols, analytical procedures, and a plan for implementing corrective actions
  • Follow the methodologies and parameters that are contained in the scope of the certificate of accreditation

Pennsylvania Required Tests for Cannabis Products

In Pennsylvania, marijuana samples are tested twice before they are finally sold to medical marijuana establishments. Samples from harvest lots must be submitted to an approved testing laboratory before they are processed into medical marijuana products. Furthermore, samples from an already processed lot are required to be tested by a second approved testing laboratory before they are sold.

An harvest lot or process lot can be required to be tested for some or all of the following analytes:

  • Heavy metals
  • Microbiological contaminants
  • Moisture content and water activity
  • Mycotoxins
  • Pesticides
  • Potency
  • Solvents
  • Terpenes

To ensure product potency and purity, marijuana processors or growers are required to retain samples of their process lots to test their stability. Stability testing is done at 6-month and 1-year intervals for extraction-based products. Finished flower products are tested at 1-month and 3-month intervals.

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

Marijuana testing laboratories in Pennsylvania report the results of tests conducted on harvest or process lots by entering the results into the electronic inventory tracking system. The results are made available to the growers or processors that submitted the samples and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH). Also, a Certificate of Analysis (COA) containing compliance to chemical profile and contaminant testing is issued to the marijuana grower or processor.

How Much Does It Cost to Test Cannabis in Pennsylvania?

The cost of cannabis testing is only provided by the testing laboratories in Pennsylvania upon request. Therefore, marijuana processors or growers can visit the website of any licensed medical marijuana testing laboratory in the state to inquire about their pricings.

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

Pennsylvania allows the retesting of marijuana samples that failed initial testing. A marijuana grower is required to notify the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) and the licensed laboratory of its intention to retest a failed sample or another sample from the same harvest or process lot. A retested sample will be disposed of except it fails only yeast or mold testing and the cannabis grower decides to process the lot into a topical form. If a sample passes retesting, it is subsequently retested by another licensed laboratory to confirm the results.

List of Cannabis Testing Labs in Pennsylvania

Currently, these are the five approved medical marijuana testing laboratories in Pennsylvania:

  • ACT Laboratories of Pennsylvania LLC
  • Keystone State Testing LLC
  • Steep Hill Pennsylvania
  • US Cannalytics, LLC
  • Coral Reef Labs
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