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Cannabis Labs Busy At Work Testing Crops In California

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) – California's first legal 4/20 festivities kick off on Friday, but do you really know what you're smoking?

A Bay Area lab is testing for dangerous chemicals that could be lingering in your pot.

EVIO Labs in Berkeley is a new facility that opened to do analytical testing for cannabis products in all forms.

Since recreational marijuana became legal this year the State Bureau OF Cannabis Control is requiring all marijuana growers and processors to send products to distributors to get tested before they arrive at dispensaries.

The state recently rolled out a lengthy list of pesticides, solvents and other contaminants that labs must test for.

EVIO Labs co-founder and COO Lori Glauser says it's too early to say how much cannabis tested in this lab is contaminated.

But when the company's labs in Oregon first did similar tests, it found 30 percent of concentrate products and 5 percent of flower products had contaminants above state levels.

"We test for contaminants for things as simple as mold and yeast, but we also test for E.coli and salmonella," Glauser said.

As of July 1, licensed retailers in California can only sell lab-tested products.

"I absolutely anticipate that the quality of product across the board is going to be more reliable and consistent from the standpoint of potency of products," Glauser said. "They're going to be more consistent and reliable and we're going to have greater assurance that the product that we get on the shelves is indeed clean."

Glouser says with the new data they provide, growers will learn the source of contaminants and what nutrients and additives to avoid.

In the long run, scientists will also be able to better study the effects of inhaled contaminants.

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