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Cannabis Businesses Describe ‘Absolute Chaos’ In Light Of New California State Rules

The rollout has some businesses seeing profits disappear

“Absolute chaos.”, “A clusterfuck for sure.”

That’s the way local cannabis companies are describing the process for complying with California’s new regulations for testing, labeling, and packaging cannabis products, which went into effect July 1.

“There are a lot of components to comply with,” said Kristi Knoblich Palmer, who cofounded Oakland-based Kiva Confections, an edibles company. “And there’s a lot of change to existing business processes. And there’s a lot of cost added to making those changes.”

There’s also not a lot of consistency.

Among the new regulations is the requirement that all cannabis products be tested by a state-licensed laboratory for the presence of cannabinoids, pesticides, residual solvents, microbial impurities, and other things. For example, all cannabis products must be within 10 percent (plus or minus) of their labeled cannabinoid content. And edible cannabis products also have to go through homogeneity testing — to ensure consistent THC content, before the labs conduct other analyses — every six months.

Knoblich Palmer said Kiva has been testing its cannabis products for pesticides, mold, and other contaminants since its founding in 2010. “We’ve kind of pioneered quality-control and testing in the cannabis industry,” she said. “Every product is within our standard.”

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