What is Emerald Proficiency Testing
Emerald Proficiency Testing – Creating The Gold Standard For Cannabis Testing Laboratories
What is it?
The Emerald Scientific Proficiency Test is a proficiency test of laboratories on a national scale. What this proficiency test means is that Emerald Labs will try to determine the performance of not just individual labs but all labs that submit results and then will compare them against each other.
This inter-laboratory test ensures that every lab is up to a particular standard. Overall, the test is crucial for ensuring the quality of cannabis testing facilities. The test is not just useful for labs but consumers too. Participating labs can discover the areas of their testing that need improvement and attain a much safer standard.
How Does it Work?
The test takes place only twice every year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall. A panel known as the Emerald Test Advisory Panel determines the criteria for the tests.
Test samples are then produced by a certified proficiency testing company and sent to each participating cannabis testing laboratory. The labs will only have a specific window of time to complete their tests and submit their results. Tests like microbial testing, THC content, heavy metals, and other vital safety tests.
What is Means for the Cannabis Community and Consumers
Legal states have begun to realize that an independent proficiency test is necessary for maintaining high cannabis testing standards. Colorado is one state that is requiring labs to participate in this proficiency testing program. The problem is that at the moment, this inter-lab testing is not required everywhere, so besides Colorado, there is no set standard.
For people in Colorado, that means that quality control remains high and they can rest assured that the labs performing these tests are operating safely. This results in much safer marijuana products that are scrutinized with the same vigor as food, pharmaceutical, and environmental testing industries.
Unfortunately, in many states, the industry has been plagued by low-quality lab testing, which has triggered a few scandals. In Washington, Peak Analytics was suspended after poor practices failed to perform a microbial test accurately. These microbial tests protect everyone from dangerous bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella, which can make people dangerously ill.
More widespread are THC reports that are entirely unreliable. Canntest found that 16 out of 17 samples from a lab in Alaska listed up to 20% higher THC amounts than the reality. Some marijuana manufacturers have also reported that different labs will give wildly varying results of the same product.
Some cannabis manufacturers are in favor of the practice because they can, in turn, raise the prices of their products. People at a shop perceive higher THC items to be more expensive and will pay a higher price. This is a problem not only for dishonesty but proper dosage is crucial for everyone.
Why We Need Proficiency Testing
Even though cannabis users at large never directly interact with a cannabis testing lab, they should still support inter-lab testing like Emerald Labs test. Hopefully, each state will realize the value of such a test and require all labs to participate in order to create a much safer market for consumers.