One in five batches of marijuana has failed laboratory testing since new state safety requirements kicked in on July 1, according to data from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.
Failures have been triggered by inaccurate labeling or contamination from pesticides, bacteria or processing chemicals.
Those testing requirements and results have left some retailers with severely limited inventory over the past few weeks, as cultivators and product manufacturers scramble to get compliant products to market.
There was a big gap at the beginning of the month with the supply of marijuana buds in particular, according to Nick Rinella, chief operating officer of Verdant Distribution, a Long Beach-based independent cannabis distributor.
The new testing requirements have also created backlogs at busy labs.
The state has licensed just 31 testing labs, most located in Northern California, and many of them aren’t yet taking customers. As a result, Rinella said cannabis safety tests are taking between one and two weeks.
And this week the first cannabis product was recalled from store shelves because it doesn’t meet new standards regarding pesticide levels.