What is a Cannabis Certificate of Analysis (CoA)?

July stands to be an interesting month for the California cannabis market. Updates to the existing regulations, stricter testing requirements, and mandatory child-resistant packaging specifications all come into play this summer. As outlined in the regulations, all products must be tested by a state-licensed lab and be accompanied by a Certificate of Analysis (CoA). With an expected bottleneck at labs this summer, it’s important for distributors and retail purchasing departments to have heightened awareness of what an official state validated CoA looks like. Hint: it’s all in the fine print!

What information is required on a CoA?

  • The testing laboratory’s name, address, license number
  • The Distributor’s name, address, license number
  • The Cultivator’s, Manufacturer’s, or micro-business’s name
  • Batch information that corresponds to compliance batch the sample was obtained
  • Unique ID
  • Sample type (oil, flower, edible, etc)
  • Batch size
  • Sample Information including:
  • Date of collection by testing lab
  • Date received by testing lab
  • Date of analysis for each test required
  • Size of sample
  • Analytical method used in the analysis required

All Certificates of Analysis (CoA) must have completed fields in order to be valid. Any missing information deems the CoA non-compliant.

Analyses that are required to be on an official state COA:

Best practices for purchasing departments includes detailed examinations of CoAs,  a strong relationship with distributors, and an understanding of California cannabis regulations. Ultimately, distributors are responsible for getting a CoA for all product and should foster a partnership with a state-licensed lab. As we navigate this burgeoning industry, attention to detail and acute knowledge of the regulations is vital.


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