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  • Debby Goldsberry

Regulating the Cannabis Industry for Accuracy and Integrity

Updated: Mar 27

In the fast-evolving landscape of the cannabis industry, ensuring accurate testing standards is paramount to safeguarding consumer safety, maintaining regulatory compliance, and fostering fair market competition. However, a pervasive challenge known as cannabinoid inflation threatens to undermine these essential principles, posing a significant obstacle to the industry's growth and legitimacy. 

Understanding Cannabinoid Inflation

Cannabinoid inflation refers to the practice of cannabis testing laboratories providing inaccurately high cannabinoid concentrations in their reports, often in an attempt to attract business. This phenomenon distorts market dynamics, leading to unfair competition and jeopardizing the credibility of legitimate labs that adhere to rigorous testing standards. Contaminant deflation is a significant concern, too, as labs willing to inflate cannabinoids are also more likely to underreport the presence and/or amount of hazardous substances.

At the heart of this issue lies a fundamental discrepancy between reported and actual cannabinoid content in cannabis products. As cannabis producers and distributors seek out labs offering higher THC values, a troubling trend is to use only labs that will inflate the value of desirable cannabinoids, such as THC. This practice, known as laboratory shopping, perpetuates the cycle of inflated results, undermining integrity and forcing accurate reporting labs out of business.

Proposing Regulatory Solutions

To address this pressing cannabinoid inflation challenge, Digamma Consulting, renowned experts in cannabis chemistry, presents a comprehensive set of regulatory solutions in their latest white paper, Solutions to Cannabinoid Inflation.

Solution A: Data Analysis Reports Advocating the adoption of data analysis reports, Digamma proposes a systematic approach to analyzing testing data, providing regulators with a solid foundation for action. By leveraging data analytics, authorities can identify trends, anomalies, and potential instances of cannabinoid inflation. Such identification enables regulators to make targeted and legally justified interventions that can help to improve testing integrity.

Solution B: Suspect Product Checks Digamma recommends implementing suspect product checks, also known as “secret shopper” programs, to detect inflated cannabinoid values. This cost-effective mechanism allows states to conduct product sampling and testing of suspected lab results by independent accredited reference laboratories that will validate reported cannabinoid content and mitigate inflated results.

Solution C: Chemical Analysis Laboratory Audits Digamma proposes implementing in-person audits of chemical analysis laboratories to ensure testing integrity and thus directly address cannabinoid inflation. Subjecting testing facilities to rigorous scrutiny by expert auditors enables regulators to assess compliance with standards and uphold the integrity of the testing process.

Digamma’s White Paper: Solutions to Cannabinoid Inflation

Digamma’s white paper on regulating the cannabis industry for accuracy and integrity represents a significant step toward addressing the pervasive challenge of cannabinoid inflation. By advocating for practical, low-cost regulatory solutions, Digamma Consulting aims to empower government regulators to uphold transparency, impartiality, and legal defensibility in cannabis testing reporting and labeling.

As the industry continues to evolve, it is imperative to prioritize consumer safety, regulatory compliance, and market fairness. Through collaborative efforts and ongoing dialogue, we can navigate the complexities of the cannabis industry and propel it toward a future characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability. Join Digamma in the quest to build a safe, fair, and thriving cannabis industry for all.

Read the white paper here:

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