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What do food, water, and cannabis all have in common?

While it sounds like the start to a bad riddle the reality is that all of these items listed; water, food, and cannabis, are under the umbrella of ISO 17025.

To be clear, cannabis testing labs do not all fall under the purview of ISO 17025—yet. At present, each state has oversight for how cannabis labs are or are not regulated. One thing is certain though, this rapidly evolving and quickly growing industry is starting to see state regulations and compliance burdens also grow and evolve– such as those recently announced by Ohio.

Cannabis testing labs are looking towards established industries like water and food labs to serve as a quality assurance beacon. There are similarities to the use-case of cannabis that mirror how water and food products are used– they all are consumed by people. The ISO standard that applies to those providing testing services is 17025, which is why that same standard is becoming adopted for cannabis.

On ANAB’s website, they state, “Testing of cannabis products is necessary to demonstrate that they are safe for consumption and free from harmful levels of contaminants and adulterants.” This is why ISO 17025 is the go-to standard for cannabis testing. Relevant tests that support ISO/IEC Accreditation, as shared by ANAB, include:

  • Cannabinoid testing and content (e.g., THC, THCV, CBD, CBDV, CBG, CBC, and CBN)
  • Terpene profile
  • Pesticides, fungicides/plant growth regulators
  • Microbiological contaminants  such as mold, insects, and bacteria
  • Residual solvents

Water, Food, & Cannabis

For those in cannabis labs it is important that compliance partnerships are made with industry professionals that have specific expertise with ISO 17025. Of other great importance is a company that has worked with labs specific for food and water testing, as those standards are propelling cannabis regulation forward. For us, an organization with decades of experience in this space and over a hundred established customers within these industries, we have enjoyed being able to help cannabis labs get up and running with their compliance software because we are so intimately familiar with the demands of ISO 17025.

Another reality that comes from the rapid growth and evolution of this industry is that cannabis labs are facing is the need to quickly get compliance software in place, as the needs and pressures are increasing seemingly day-by-day. They don’t have a lot of time to spend thinking, evaluating, deciding, and implementing. This is one reason we are so pleased to offer “Best in Class” workflows that come configured and ready to be customized, to the individual needs of the lab. It means a quicker installation and ramp-up period.

A comprehensive software solution for cannabis testing labs is critical as compliance continues to evolve. Using automation, process controls, document management functions, and documented training procedures are steps in the right direction. With the proper software tools in place, cannabis testing labs can achieve compliance goals and demonstrate reliable and relevant results.

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Categories: Cannabis Labs, Testing Labs

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