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CCC Contacts Licensees About “Cannabinoid Reporting” By Testing Labs

“This letter responds to inquiries received by the Commission and provides clarification regarding the agency’s timelines for implementation.”

Last November, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission issued a bulletin “providing guidance to Commission-licensed Independent Testing Laboratories … to provide clarification, ensure consistency, and establish standards following the latest considerations from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention.”

The action did not come randomly. Rather, industry voices have been clamoring for major changes for several years—from Dr. Christopher Hudalla of ProVerde Labs drilling the CCC for its “lack of regulatory guidance,” to Yasha Kahn, the VP of marketing and technology at MCR Labs in Framingham, speaking about widespread testing manipulation at the Cannabis Science Fair at the Harvard Science Center.

“If ExxonMobil was watering its gas down by 20%, you’d hear about it, and attorneys general would speak up and get the dollar signs in their eyes,” Khan said last December.

While the CCC’s guidance from last year was seen as a positive first step by many critics, stakeholders are still demanding more, while a number of licensees in various categories are also requesting clarity around the issue. Last week, the commission took a step in that direction by sending a letter to licensees about “Cannabinoid Reporting by Independent Testing Laboratories.” In it, Acting Executive Director and Chief People Officer Debra Hilton-Creek explained:

On November 27, 2023, the Commission issued a bulletin to standardize and provide further guidance regarding Cannabinoid Reporting by Independent Testing Laboratories (the “Bulletin”) for product categories intended to be consumed through combustion (e.g., finished plant material such as flower/bud/trim/shake, raw/infused pre-rolls, concentrates, and extracts). This letter responds to inquiries received by the Commission and provides clarification regarding the agency’s timelines for implementation concerning three separate topics presented within the Bulletin. 

Specifically, the letter includes clarification around “Reporting of Cannabinoid Profile,” “Measurement of Water Activity,” and “Calculation of Total THC and Total CBD.” 

In the past, the agency appeared to be reluctant to take up the topic of testing, but CCC members and staffers have recently, gradually responded to the aforementioned outcry. Considering comments made by commissioners in their public meetings this year, the industry will likely see additional discussion and action on this subject moving forward.