California proposes new rules and standards for marijuana testing laboratories

Laboratories that test marijuana for medical use in California will have to be licensed and show their employees are properly trained, and will face strict guidelines for how to conduct examinations of samples, according to rules proposed Friday by the state Bureau of Marijuana Control.

The bureau hopes to begin issuing licenses for the cultivation, transportation, testing and sale of medical marijuana in January and has been rolling out proposed regulations for public input.

“The broad objectives of these regulations are to ensure that the medical cannabis goods sold to consumers from licensed dispensaries are safe for consumption,” the bureau said in a statement Friday.

The rules would set analysis standards for marijuana, including procedures to detect moisture content, residual solvents and processing chemicals, pesticides, microbiological impurities, mycotoxins, filth and foreign material, heavy metals, and terpenes.

Testing labs would issue a certificate of analysis for each sample providing the test results before marijuana can be sold.

Voters in November approved the sale of marijuana for recreational use and the testing guidelines are expected to be similar to those proposed for medical pot.