Big safety testing failure rate for California pot products

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According to the data, about 20 percent of marijuana products tested by California labs since the beginning of July have failed to meet the state's required safety limits.

The majority of the products that failed tests, however, are not blocked from placement on pot shop shelves.

Overall, 11,000 samples of marijuana products were tested in July and August, with almost 2,000 failing to pass.

The black market is flourishing, despite California sending 1,800 cease and desist letters to known unlicensed dispensaries that are enjoying a huge competitive advantage in not having to pay steep taxes or lose inventory from failed tests. Actual marijuana buds passed this test 90 percent of the time, suggesting a problem with manufactured edible pot products like chocolates and brownies.

Secondly, about 400 batches of marijuana products failed tests due to unacceptable levels of pesticides.

Critics are simultaneously describing the state's testing requirements as too rigid, too lenient and overly costly. Likewise, some industry officials say there is no way to change testing results in cases in which the laboratory makes a mistake, even if the lab admits to the error. The chief scientific officer for Santa Ana-based testing company Cannalysis, Swetha Kaul, told regulators last month that the testing rules miss mold and yeast contaminants that standard pharmaceutical and food testing would otherwise catch.

Additionally, the California Growers Association recently complained in a letter to the state that "testing is now costly, slow and inconsistent". The association also complained that the testing was costly, noting that small marijuana farms were getting hit with testing fees of up to $10,000.

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