Alabama Cannabis Testing Labs

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Does Alabama License Independent Cannabis Testing Labs?

Yes. Alabama allows independent cannabis testing laboratories to obtain cannabis testing laboratory licenses pursuant to its medical cannabis law (Darren Wesley 'Ato' Hall Compassion Act) to test medical cannabis for contaminants and impurities. Under the state's medical cannabis law, such laboratories are designated as state testing laboratories. A state testing laboratory license permits the licensee to possess and test cannabis and medical cannabis products cultivated or processed at licensed cannabis facilities. Note that recreational cannabis is illegal in the state.

Requirements for Marijuana Testing Labs in Alabama

Per Section 20-2A-66 of the Darren Wesley 'Ato' Hall Compassion Act, a state testing laboratory must be accredited and meet the requirements for a testing laboratory pursuant to international standard ISO/IEC 17025. The laboratory must demonstrate testing capabilities in the categories of cannabinoids, microbiological bacteria, pesticides, metals, and toxins.

The licensee and each investor in the facility must not have an interest in a licensed cultivator, secure transporter, processor, or dispensary. The laboratory must have a secured laboratory space that cannot be accessed by the general public and must retain and employ a minimum of one staff member possessing a relevant advanced degree in medical or laboratory science.

A state testing laboratory is expected to achieve accreditation within one year from the date of licensing by the AMCC. The license of a state testing laboratory that fails to become accredited within 2 years from the date of licensing by the AMCC will be non-renewed or revoked. A testing laboratory that loses accreditation must be re-accredited within 1 year, or its license will be considered non-renewed or revoked.

Alabama Required Tests for Cannabis Products

The state's medical cannabis law requires state testing laboratories to determine whether cannabis and medical cannabis comply with the standards set by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission for microbial and mycotoxin contents. They are also to perform other tests required to determine compliance with other good manufacturing practices described in the AMCC rules. State testing labs must use validated test methods to determine Delta-9 THC, THCA, cannabidiol, and cannabidiol acid levels.

Per the state medical cannabis law, testing laboratories must test for:

  • Cannabinoid content and potency, including, but not limited to:
  • Total THC (THC+THCA)
  • Total CBD (CBD+CBDA)
  • THC/CBD ratio, if applicable
  • Percentage of THC relative to original plant material (w/w)
  • Terpene profiles
  • Heavy metals
  • Chemical contamination, including residual solvents remaining after extraction and concentration
  • Microbials, including pathogenic microbials
  • Mycotoxins
  • Residual insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and growth regulators used during cultivation
  • Residual solvents

How Do Alabama Marijuana Testing Labs Submit and Report Test Results?

State testing laboratories are required to report the results of their analyses to the AMCC's approved proficiency testing provider. Prior to licensure, testing laboratories are required to include in their standard operating procedures the plan to report their test results to the AMCC. Also, a state testing laboratory must provide the final certificate of analysis containing the official testing results to the licensee, which provided the sample, within 2 business days after obtaining the results.

How Much Does It Cost to Test Cannabis in Alabama?

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission only recently (December 2023) issued licenses to cannabis businesses in the state. It is not yet clear how much it would cost to test cannabis in Alabama.

What Happens to Cannabis Products That Fail Lab Tests in Alabama?

Per the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission Rules and Regulations, if a sample from a batch of cannabis fails an official test conducted by a testing laboratory, the remainder of the batch, including any cannabis plant trim, leaf, and other usable material from the same batch will be considered to have automatically failed the official test. Within 7 days of a failed test, the licensee who submits a batch for testing is permitted to accept, request a retest, challenge, or request a remediation of the batch.

A batch that fails an official test may be remediated and retested upon the licensee's request. Initial retesting may occur using the same sample at the same testing laboratory; however, at the licensee's discretion, subsequent retesting may occur at a different testing laboratory, if available. Also, a batch of cannabis that fails a microbial screening may be used in making a CO2- or solvent-based extract. After processing, the CO2- or solvent-based extract must pass all required official tests.

Barring contrary results based on a retest or challenge as provided in the AMCC Rules and Regulation, if, upon retesting, a sample provided to a testing laboratory sample fails the same official test, the licensee that provided the sample must destroy and dispose of the entire batch from which the sample was taken and document the destruction and disposal of the batch to the statewide Seed-to-Sale Tracking System. A batch so destroyed and disposed of must not be recognizable as cannabis or medical cannabis, nor shall it be usable for any legal or illegal purpose.

If a sample provided to a testing laboratory passes the same official test upon retesting and tiebreak testing by a separate testing laboratory, the licensee will not be required to destroy the entire batch; instead, the testing laboratory will clear the batch for further processing, packaging, labeling or sale, as appropriate, by means of the certificate provided to the licensee and a notation on the statewide Seed-to-Sale Tracking System.

List of Cannabis Testing Labs in Alabama

As of 2024, the only testing laboratory licensed to test cannabis in Alabama is Certus Laboratories.

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