3 min read

Cannabis Testing: Staying Compliant Means Staying Prepared

ByTrichome Team

November 3, 2023

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In the rapidly evolving cannabis industry, one factor remains constant: strict regulations. For cannabis businesses, compliance is not just a legal requirement; it’s a critical component of long-term success. The consequences of noncompliance can be financially crippling and destroy a brand’s reputation

The Cost of Noncompliance: Contaminants, Fines and Potential Closure

Regulatory agencies take violations seriously, and the financial penalties imposed for taking shortcuts and breaking the rules can severely impact a business’s bottom line. But the fallout from noncompliance extends beyond monetary penalties. It can tarnish a company’s reputation, erode consumer trust and result in the loss of permits and licenses—all debilitating to a company’s bottom line and potentially causing the halting of operations

Contamination is just one costly, potential result of noncompliance. If a cannabis product is found to contain elevated levels of harmful substances like heavy metals, mold or fungi, or does not meet mandated quality standards, it will likely be recalled. That laborious process is not only incredibly expensive, but can deal a devastating blow to a company’s reputation.

To successfully avoid such scenarios, cannabis businesses should invest in a partnership with a reputable testing lab like Trichome Analytical. Labs play a crucial role by assisting with compliance, ensuring products meet regulatory standards, and helping businesses avoid costly fines and recalls. Investing in this guidance and support will help you avoid serious future pain points. The value of trusted professional legal assistance should also not be underestimated, nor should the impact that trusted accountants can have on keeping companies operating within the regulatory framework.

Effective Planning Prevents Poor Outcomes

Being compliant in the cannabis industry requires meticulous planning and adherence to a web of intricate regulations. Simply grabbing a business-plan template from the internet won’t cut it. To be truly successful, businesses need a custom-tailored plan that aligns with their unique vision, mission, goals and local legislation.

Crafting your business plan in-house allows company leaders to focus on the specific needs and objectives of your business while incorporating the nuances found in local legal frameworks. It’s also essential to establish standard operating procedures (SOPs) that are compliant with state regulations. SOPs serve as the backbone of your operations, ensuring workplace safety, consistency, reduced errors and efficient communication—both internally and externally.

When creating SOPs, it’s critical to follow the lead of regulators. Use the same language and terminology outlined in your state’s rules and regulations, like New Jersey Administrative Code (NJAC) 17:30, for example.

Precision in language is paramount, and it is not advisable to purchase SOPs from third parties who are likely not aligned with your state’s regulations.

Remediation Planning and Training

Navigating the path to cannabis compliance also involves thorough remediation planning and training. Setting up your facility properly is vital, highly visible, and should be performed in strict adherence to environmental compliance and controls. Post-harvest remediation can be particularly challenging, so understanding New Jersey’s pesticide regulations ahead of time is essential to avoid costly missteps. Methods like ozone and irradiation are used to salvage contaminated crops. These methods come with their own set of challenges, however—from price to worker safety concerns (ozone can be toxic) and potential residual issues (with some methods, the initial microbial load is lowered, but the product can still contain or culture harmful bacteria and fungi later in the product’s life cycle—often when in final packaging or on the shelves).

For businesses facing a failed crop or product, extraction can be an alternative solution. This creates a business opportunity for licensed entities to enter the market as remediation tollers or wholesalers, offering a valuable service to those in need.

Stay Compliant and Stay Ahead

In the ever-changing cannabis industry, compliance is not an option; it’s a necessity. The key to staying compliant lies in proactive planning, the establishment of rigorous SOPs, and a keen understanding of your state’s regulations. Partnering with a trusted testing lab like Trichome the moment you land your license will be a game-changer in this journey, helping you navigate the regulatory landscape and avoid costly pitfalls. You will not only protect your business from fines and recalls, but also ensure the safety and satisfaction of your customers. Staying compliant means staying ahead.

Trichome Analytical understands what it takes for cannabis businesses to be prepared and stay compliant in an often turbulent industry. Even if you’ve submitted for a conversion license, Trichome Analytical can help you stay compliant. Reach out today to find out more.