At the beginning of July, the state of California instituted new safety requirements for marijuana products.
Under California's voter approved Proposition 64, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana in the state, testing was required foro recreational marijuana and related products for potency, contaminants and health risks.
The majority of the products that failed tests, however, are not blocked from placement on pot shop shelves.
The black market is flourishing, despite California sending 1,800 cease and desist letters to known unlicensed dispensaries that are enjoying a huge competitive advantage in not having to pay steep taxes or lose inventory from failed tests. Improper claims on the product labels, such as THC content, accounted for 1,279 failed tests, or 65 percent of the failures.
The remaining failures were largely linked to unacceptable levels of pesticide residues and the presence of other impurities, such as bacteria and mold. Actual marijuana buds passed this test 90 percent of the time, suggesting a problem with manufactured edible pot products like chocolates and brownies.
And, "even if the [testing] lab admits it made an error, there is no way to change those results", Bryce Berryessa told the AP. At a state hearing last month, the Santa Ana-based company Cannalysis urged regulators to expand their rules to include a test used in food and pharmaceutical industries that detects species of mold and yeast.
Cannabis-infused cookies, sweets and tinctures have been hit hardest, with about a third being banned for sale, the Associated Press said. The association also complained that the testing was costly, noting that small marijuana farms were getting hit with testing fees of up to $10,000.