The significance of cannabis quality control and assurance cannot be over-emphasized, especially for large-scale cannabis firms. Failure to comply with quality assurance testing can have serious repercussions. These repercussions include product recalls or seizures due to contamination or inappropriate pesticide application. Such incidents not only endanger customers, but may also result in significant financial losses for business owners. Furthermore, they can jeopardize their reputation and consumer trust.

In addition to reading, you can watch this blog about Cannabis Quality Control too!

Why cannabis quality control is important

As the demand for high-potency THC grows, cannabis farmers are depending on testing laboratories more than ever. Given the possibility of pesticide reporting mistakes, it is critical to assure accurate findings. Additionally, profit-driven lab methods emphasize income over consumer health. Therefore, it is also critical to educate customers to ensure their awareness and understanding.

Testing laboratories must set a level of quality while serving their consumers, regardless of the less-than-ethical, yet enticing options.

  1. In a study researchers tested 20 different cannabis samples from dispensaries in California and found that 90% of the samples contained pesticides, fungicides, or other contaminants.
  2. In another study researchers found that over 80% of CBD products tested contained either more or less CBD than advertised, with some products containing no CBD at all.

Cannabis Quality Control Testing

In cannabis quality control testing, you carry out a series of tests and inspections at different stages of the production process.

Some of the most common tests include:

  1. Microbial testing: This involves testing for the presence of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that can cause infections.
  2. Pesticide testing: This involves testing for the presence of pesticides and other chemicals that may have been used during the cultivation process.
  3. Heavy metal testing: This involves testing for the presence of heavy metals such as lead and arsenic, which can be harmful to human health.
  4. Potency testing: This involves testing the levels of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD in the product to ensure that it is consistent with the label claims.
  5. Residual solvent testing: This involves testing for the presence of solvents such as butane that may have been used during the extraction process.

Quality management system  for cannabis quality control

Quality management systems are an essential component of any cannabis company’s operations, embedding quality assurance as an instinctive organizational norm. Companies must regulate cannabis products, like other consumables such as food and water, to protect customer safety.

Cannabis businesses with quality management processes can immediately detect potential problems. They can then take remedial action to avoid costly mistakes or product recalls. This is important for maintaining the quality of their products and protecting their reputation.

Quality management systems are critical for getting an advantage over competitors in a business as competitive as cannabis. Especially with the possibility of federal regulation looming in the not-so-distant future. Investing in quality control is not simply another expenditure.  Implementing this eventually enhances corporate profitability. It also serves as a critical investment for the company. Such an investment can provide benefits even in a federally regulated environment.

Creating cannabis quality control methods

Creating quality control methods for cannabis goods is crucial. It ensures that the company’s quality control process is as automated, efficient, and consistent as feasible. You should consider the following points before designing the method.

  • While developing QA SOPs, it is critical to consider state requirements, current corporate SOPs, and working with well-established and trustworthy laboratories.
  • It is also critical to use resources to automate and improve QA operations, from document management to tracking shipments and recording problems.

Implementing cannabis quality control measures requires a systematic approach. The following steps can help guide the process:

  1. Establish quality control standards – The first step is to establish quality control standards that are consistent with local regulations.
  2. Conduct risk assessments – Conducting risk assessments can help identify potential hazards and risks associated with the production process.
  3. Develop standard operating procedures – Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) that outline the steps involved in the production process and the quality control measures you need to implement.
  4. Train employees – Training employees on the SOPs and quality control measures are essential to ensure that they follow them consistently.
  5. Conduct regular audits – Conduct regular audits to ensure that you follow the quality control measures and to identify areas for improvement.

Implementing the cannabis quality control process

Firms that use ERP and quality management software to handle compliance and business operations may integrate cannabis quality control into the whole compliance process. It is vital to manage a seamless operation by utilizing a cannabis quality management software system. This system may assist in automating procedures, recording problems, monitoring, and tracking data. Taking stock of the compliance process is the first stage in preparing the organization for QC success. This step involves enhancing compliance practices, optimizing QC procedures, and aligning them to operate as an extension of the existing compliance process.

When integrating the QC process with compliance standards, it is critical to learn from different sectors. It is also essential to determine how to integrate GMP ideas on a scale that is appropriate for the organization.  Elevating the compliance process with QC norms is critical, and it requires us to thoroughly document methods and develop accurate formulae that we can readily copy. Including employees, continuing education in the annual compliance plan is also a high focus. This plan provides an opportunity for staff to review best practices in food safety, product handling, and other areas.

Using quality management software that is GMP validated is also a good idea. Isolocity is a third-party GMP-validated quality management software that specializes in the cannabis industry.

Contact us today to learn more!


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On February 22, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law S.8084-A/A.9283-A, and as per law New York state now will provide conditional adult-use cultivator and processor license. The license holders will be able to cultivate, process, and distribute cannabis flower products holding an adult-use processor or distributor license, there are certain conditions to be met, which is why these license are conditional.

As the application period for Adult use conditional cultivation license ended, the Cannabis Control Board opened the application period for Cannabis Adult Use conditional processor license starting from 28th June till 31st August. Similar to Adult use cultivator license eligibility, active cannabinoid hemp processor license-holders are only eligible to apply for the adult-use conditional processor license. So if your name is not on this list, you can not apply.

One of the major aspects of this license is the business need to be GMP compliant as they will have to submit a GMP audit certificate at the time of filling up the application form itself. So in case, you have one, that’s good for you, if not, do get in touch with us. We have 20 years of experience in GMP consulting, we have our own GMP-validated software too. All you have to do is to fill up this form or WhatsApp us here.

But for those who are eligible, we will try to explain the prerequisites, other requirements, the process, ongoing responsibilities, and some FAQs for the Cannabis Adult Use Conditional Processor License application.

  1. Main Eligibility

    1. An active Cannabinoid hemp processor license holder from the office of Cannabis Management. The list is available here.
    2. Any Cannabinoid hemp processor license holder who applied for the license after 1st January is not eligible, i.e. if the Cannabinoid hemp processor license holder had applied for the license before 1st January, then only they will be considered.
    3. The person who will be applying must have more than 51% or more ownership of the Cannabinoid hemp processor license.
  2. Prerequisites

    1. Make sure your facility is GMP compliant. Once you submit an application, your facility will be inspected by the office. If you don’t have a GMP certificate, we can certainly help in this as we have 20 years of experience in GMP consulting.
    2. After you submit your application, you might be asked to perform hydrocarbon extraction activities for which you might need to use volatile solvents. Therefore the proactive measures would be to arrange a letter or equivalent from the local jurisdiction’s fire marshal, local building code authority, or its equivalent stating that the facility is approved to perform such activities and is compliant with all the fire codes and other regulations.
    3. If you have any pending/unresolved litigations, labor law, judicial, administrative, or regulatory violations, it will be better to resolve them first.
  3. Requirements

    These are sets of things that you need to provide at the time of application.

    1. Primary contact details of the applicant
    2. Business Location
    3. Business plan including the proposed Cannabis type(s)
    4. If the applicant is permitted to conduct extraction activities (as mentioned in the prerequisites), details of the proposed extraction method
    5. Compensation verification of the workers
    6. Proof of disability and paid family leave benefits insurance
    7. Proof of GMP audit (as mentioned in the prerequisites). If you need help, you can fill up this form or Whatsapp us, we have 20 years of experience in this.
    8. Ownership details of the applicant, you need to show you have at least 51% ownership of the Cannabinoid license.
    9. Financial disclosure
      • Organizational structure
      • Organizational charts
      • Capitalization table
      • Disclosure of existing or proposed sources of capital
    10. Your active Cannabinoid hemp processor license along with the proof that you applied for the same before 1st January 2022.
    11. The applicant’s attestation and agreement to the applicable terms and conditions, the same can be obtained here. Go through the entire document but only the last page is to be signed and uploaded at the time of application.
    12. Submission of non-refundable license and application fee – $2000.
  4. Process

    The process is entirely online.

    1. Sign in or create an account here.
    2. Fill up all the details mentioned below
      • Introduction – If you have any business listed on the portal, it will show up here. If you can see the business you are applying the license for, select it here, else select “my business is not listed”. Please note if you select an existing business, all previous details will be used.
      • Entity type – select from the dropdown – Individual/Sole proprietor, Partnership, or Corporation
      • Business Identification – All basic details like your name, legal name, EIN or SIN, etc
      • Business Address
        • Physical address – This is the registered business address.
        • Additional physical address – If you have multiple locations, just keep adding them here.
        • Mailing Address – Just make sure you have an established mail box at this address
      • Contact information – your contact details including telephone number, mobile number, email id, website etc.
      • Industry classification – Enter your North American Industry Classification System code. In case you don’t remember, you can check here or here. You should also add any secondary NAICS code in case you have one.
      • Owner/Business Principal
        • Sole Proprietor/ Owner details – If you have multiple owners, add all of them here
          • Title
          • First and last name
          • DOB
          • US Resident – Yes/No
          • SSN
          • Ownership percentage
          • Profit distribution percentage (if different from ownership percentage)
          • Phone
          • Email
          • Residential address
      • Person Authorized to submit this profile – Yes/No
      • Select the authorized person from the dropdown, this will be displayed on the license.
      • Primary contact information – select from the dropdown
      • Eligibility – Read and select yes for both the options
      • Proof
        • Enter the license number
        • Primary Location of the business
        • Upload the license certificate
        • Select type of license
      • Ownership Structure
        • Has a new entity been created for Adult use Cannabis processor license? – Yes / No (this is to understand if the same entity will have the Cannabinoid hemp certificate and adult-use cannabis conditional license)
        • Any unresolved or pending litigation or labor law violations? – Yes/ No, if yes, please provide details
        • Any judicial/administrative/regulatory violations?  – Yes/No, if yes, please provide details.
        • If the owner/applicant or any close relative is convicted of a cannabis offense, that is to be entered here
        • is the entity a new york state-certified minority/women/minority women/service-disabled veteran-owned business?
        • Upload organizational chart
        • Upload a copy of the entity’s capitalization. The table must show the ownership percentage of all owners, they should add up to 100%.
        • Upload all documents related to funding
        • Does this company have any parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, or any other predecessors of the applicant – Yes/No
        • Upload a list of names of all the financial entities the applicant or the predecessors has been a part of in the last 3 years
        • Does any of the owners have any interest in any other license in this jurisdiction?
        • Is there any linkage between any employee of the office of Cannabis Management with the applicant? If yes, provide all details.
        • Provide a short business description with all details about the business model (uploading a document is also allowed)
        • Do you intend to white label or co-pack for other cannabis cultivators or processors?
        • Do you intend to use other adult-use processors to white label or co-pack products for other cannabis cultivators or processors?
        • Do you intend to distribute cannabis products to licensed adult-use retail dispensaries?
        • Select the location that will be used for the processing or manufacturing
        • Processing location information – working hours
        • Upload the floor plan of the processing or manufacturing area
        • Control type over this area
          • Ownership
          • Leasing
        • Any other license by state or federal authorities related to the operation?
        • Any other business activities on this premise?
        • Extraction method details
        • Cannabis source information – details or source for cannabis extract
          • Business name
          • Entity type
          • License
          • Country
          • State
          • Telephone
          • Email ID
          • Website
        • Select the Cannabis product Type(s)
        • Do you have worker’s compensation insurance?
        • Are you exempt from worker’s compensation insurance? If yes, please upload.
        • If you have received the worker’s compensation insurance in last 30 days, that is to be uploaded here.
        • Any disability or family leave benefits insurance?
        • Are you exempt from disability or family leave benefits insurance? If yes, the same is to be uploaded.
        • If the disability or family leave benefits insurance exemption is obtained in the last 30 days, a copy of the same is to be uploaded.
        • Do you have a certificate of occupancy authorizing activities allowed under the adult-use conditional processor license? If yes, upload the same.
        • Upload the GMP audit certificate. Don’t have one? We can certainly help. Contact us through this form or Whatsapp us
        • Select the GMP audit standards
        • Date of GMP audit
        • If you have submitted anything so far which is your trade secret (if published publicly will cause harm to your business), that is to be mentioned here so that OCM can consider not publishing it publicly.
        • Did you get help from any legal counsel for the submission of this application?
        • Attestation – name, and initials
        • Download, read, and sign a copy of the terms and conditions and guidance for the adult-use conditional processor license
        • Payment is to be made by a cheque, details will be available at the time of applying, the fee is $2000.
  5. Submit the application

    1. Post this you will get a confirmation on the website as well as receive a mail in your inbox with the application ID which will be used for all future reference.
    2. Best of luck with your Cannabis Adult Use Conditional Processor License.