Cutting Corners: Dry Labbing in the Cannabis Testing Industry

It’s hard to imagine an analytical test without lab work, but that’s just what dry labbing means. In some cases—increasingly few—samples of cannabis get certified, as if they were tested, when nothing was really done, no wet-lab science was performed. Instead, these samples get labeled with characteristics that no one really measured. Put very bluntly, dry labbing is lying—making up data about what’s in a product rather than testing it. For medical use, dry labbing is dangerous, because someone could get a higher dose than expected or not enough of the medicine they rely on. On top of that, it’s fraud for both medical and recreational cannabis products.

“In California, dry labbing is not very common at all,” says Robert Martin, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at CW Analytical Laboratories. “In the early days, we saw some of it, before there were associations—like the Association for Commercial Cannabis Labs, or...

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