Tips On Procuring a Cannabis Lab Testing License

Lab Testing is maybe  the most underrated sectors of the supply chain because it essentially holds people accountable for manufacturing high quality, healthy, non-toxic, medicinal products. Labs test cannabis for everything including pesticides, fungus, mold, what cannabinoids and terpenes are present in the flower or product, etc. As of January 1, it is officially mandatory to get your products tested before they’re sold in dispensaries or any cannabis retail business. If you’re looking to get your lab testing license, here’s what you need to know. 

The Bureau of Cannabis Control is overseen by the Department of Consumer Affairs: 
The state department in charge of issuing lab testing licenses is the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), a branch of the Department of Consumer Affairs. They’re the lead cannabis agency as they oversee and issue licenses to the majority of the supply chain, including: Retail, testing labs and microbusinesses.

Lab Testing is the fourth part of the cannabis supply chain:
The supply chain goes as follows: Cultivation  Manufacturing  Distribution  Testing  Retail  Microbusiness. The lab testing sector of the supply chain is a part of the BCC umbrella, along with distribution, retail and microbusinesses. As explained in our previous posts, CalCannabis is a branch of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which controls all aspects of cultivation. Lastly, the California Department of Public Health has also added a new department called the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch, which oversees all things manufacturing. 

Follow up with the Bureau:
If you’re not into checking the Bureaus website daily, there are still ways to stay in the know. You can sign up for their email list here. They’ll inform you about when a workshop, lecture or meeting comes to your area regarding distribution, testing, retail and microbusinesses. This is also a good way to stay up-to-date on when they add new information, and forms or applications to the site. You can also reach them via email at bcc@dca.ca.gov . 

This is what labs will be doing:

  • Collecting samples of each batch from the distributor’s premises
  • Tests cannabis goods in accordance with the Act and regulations for:

Cannabinoids
Foreign material
Heavy metals
Microbial impurities
Mycotoxins
Moisture and water activity
Residual pesticides
Residual solvents and processing chemicals
Terpenoids
Homogeneity

Temporary Lab Testing license applications are now being accepted:
Thanks to the Business and Professions Code section 26050.1, the BCC is allowed to issue temporary licenses—and they’re officially accepting applications. A temporary cannabis lab testing license is a conditional license that allows a business to engage in commercial cannabis activity for a period of 120 days. The Bureau can only issue a temporary license if the applicant has valid license, permit, or other authorization issued by the local jurisdiction. You can download the temporary license form here

Here’s a basic lay out of the information you’ll need for the temporary and annual application:
Although the Bureau is now accepting temporary and annual applications (you can download the annual license form here), keep in mind that if any of the information you provide is wrong (or if any of your info changes after you submit the form), your application will be put on hold—and the holding period, we’ve heard, can be around 90-days. So it’s worth the extra effort to fill it out carefully. Here’s a basic outline of what you’ll need! Check out the full list of instructions here.

  • Local jurisdiction authorization: A copy of a valid license, permit, or other authorization issued by the local jurisdiction where the business is operating that allows the applicant to conduct commercial cannabis activity at the location. Local authorization may vary by local jurisdiction and must specify that the applicant is approved for commercial cannabis activity. 
  • Name: The name of the applicant requesting the license. This could be an individual or business entity. 
  • License type requested: For this application it will be “Testing Laboratory.”
  •  License designation requested: A-license, adult use or M-license, medicinal. 
  • Contact information: Designated primary contact including frst and last name, title, address, phone number(s), and email address(es). 
  • Owners: For each owner that meets the criteria of Business and Professions Code section 26001 (al), the owner’s name, mailing address, and email address. 
  • Physical address: Location of the proposed premises. 
  • Authorization to use location: A copy of the title or deed to the land where the premises is proposed to be located. If the applicant does not own the land, a document from the landowner stating that the applicant has the right to occupy the property and may use the property for the commercial cannabis activity. 
  • Premises diagram: A diagram of the business’s layout at the proposed location. You can find that form here.

You have to go to a track-and-trace meeting:
According to the application, anyone who is a primary contact person must attend a track-and-trace meeting. You can find the meeting schedule here. The primary contact, according to the Bureau, is the individual who is designated as the person the licensing authorities can contact for information regarding the business. The applicant must provide the primary contact's name, title, telephone number, and email address. 

Be advised that the primary contact person for this license application will be designated as the licensee's initial track and trace system manager, and is required to register for training for using the California Cannabis Track and Trace (CCTT) system within 10 business days of submitting your annual application. If the primary contact person anticipates delegating the primary responsibility for updating and maintaining the licensee's cannabis distribution chain information in the CCTT system (post-licensure) to another licensee, employee or owner that individual should also be registered to attend the required training. You can register here

Testing is mandatory:
All cannabis harvested on or after Jan 1, 2018, and all cannabis products manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 2018 need to be tested according to Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 5715, and the regulations that follow. (You can look at the chart here.)