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Compliance vs. R&D and Quality Assurance Testing

With all the technical terminology that comes with cannabis testing in California, it can be hard to decipher what’s what. At LabPlex, we strive to make the process as seamless as possible, helping you to understand each step and requirement along the way. Keeping that in mind, one question that often arises is – what’s the difference between compliance and quality assurance or R&D testing?

The answer comes down to the simple fact that Quality Assurance or R&D testing is for internal use, while Compliance testing is outsourced externally into the State’s METRC system. Of course, to meet state requirements, the process for Compliance testing varies significantly from Quality Assurance R&D Testing.

Here’s what you can expect from each individually:

Quality Assurance/R&D Testing Process

When a cultivator or manufacturer wants to improve their processes, they often perform a Quality Assurance or R&D (Research & Development) cannabis test. With QA or R&D testing, you can perform the exact same testing that would be required for the State through Compliance testing, however; the test results aren’t submitted to the State. All QA/R&D cannabis testing results are delivered directly back to the original requestor along with a COA (Certificate of Analysis).

Meaning, if your product or flower fails in any of the tested categories – you know how, where, or what you need to improve more precisely. This helps avoid possible failure or destroying of material, if the product is to fail in Compliance testing. It can also let manufacturers know if a product may be eligible or able for remediation.

To have your product tested at LabPlex’s cannabis testing facility for Quality Assurance or R&D purposes, you can expect the process to entail the following steps:

  1. Submit your samples via drop-off or pick-up service.
  2. Your sample is analyzed and tested based on the specific test services you choose.
  3. Once results are complete, your COA (Certificate of Analysis) is produced.
  4. Results are delivered directly to the test requester and not into the state system.

Who is Quality Assurance / R&D Testing For?

Quality Assurance and R & R&D marijuana lab testing is for cultivators, extractors, dispensaries, or manufacturers seeking cannabis test results to improve internal processes or quality. Medical patients and qualified caregivers are also permitted to submit products for testing too.

Compliance Testing Process

When performing a cannabis test in California for state compliance requirements – the process is much more regimented to stay within regulations and guidelines. That’s because the sample collection, and routine as a whole, must be documented for submission to the BCC (Bureau of Cannabis Control). Here’s what you can expect for the process of compliance cannabis testing in California when working with LabPlex:

  1. A LabPlex representative will travel to your licensed facility or site to collect samples per the state’s guidelines.
  2. Upon arrival, the client is to have the sample batch ready per increment or minimum requirements. Sample collections should be video recorded for personnel purposes.
  3. The client will complete and provide a ‘shipping manifest’ to grant permission to LabPlex to obtain the required sample.
  4. After the sample is obtained, a COC (Chain of Custody) and sample log form is completed and confirmed by the client and LabPlex.
  5. The sample is sealed in a tamper-proof manner and then transported back to LabPlex’s cannabis testing facility, where all records are entered into the database.
  6. The sample is prepared and then tested for analysis. Once completed, the results are reviewed prior to a COA (Certificate of Analysis) being prepared.
  7. The COA is then submitted to the client, and BCC database, regardless of passing or failing.

Who is Compliance Testing For?

To perform a compliance test, you must be a licensed distributor or microbusiness. Your license number will be attached to all testing documentation and tracked and traced throughout the compliance testing process.

All-In-One Cannabis Testing Solutions

When searching for the right cannabis testing labs, California producers and extractors should be mindful of the services each facility can provide. Choosing LabPlex offers you a wide range of testing services and a transparent, uncomplicated process as you trust our team with the precious nature of your goods and reputation. LabPlex’s mission is to serve the cannabis industry as an all-in-one cannabis and hemp testing lab solution for premium results and quality service.

Or call us at (562) 753-6700 or Contact Us to get started!