Bi-annual test evaluates processes, establishes industry benchmarks. Enrollment for fall 2018 test now open
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA [19 September 2018] – Emerald Scientific announces the results from its bi-annual Emerald Test, an inter-laboratory comparison and proficiency testing (PT) program that aims to improve cannabis analytical standards across the industry. Seventy-seven laboratories representing 18 states and two foreign countries participated in the Spring Emerald Test, marking a 25% increase over the fall 2017 test and eighth consecutive round that the number of participants has increased.
“Many laboratories have been regular participants which speaks volumes about their commitment to quality assurance, regulatory compliance, and consumer safety. The collegial attitude of open communication and shared experience increases our knowledge and ensures continued success for all involved,” said Ken Groggel, director of Emerald Scientific’s proficiency testing program. “Our goal is to establish an industry benchmark for cannabis testing while providing valuable feedback to each laboratory’s quality assurance system.”
The total number of PT samples shipped was 314. The majority were available in a hemp or hemp oil matrix. The introduction of new PTs for Potency in Hemp Oil, STEC, Aspergillus Mold and Mycotoxins generated great interest, indicating that labs have been proactive in preparing for state regulatory changes and increased consumer awareness.
For the first time, the Emerald Test offered two Potency PTs: the original in Solution and a new Hemp Oil matrix. Of the 62 labs that participated in the Potency PT, 48 took the PT in solution with 47 receiving an Emerald Badge. Another 23 labs took the PT in hemp oil, with 22 awarded an Emerald Badge. Nine labs took both PTs.
Thirty-nine labs reported results for APC, Total Coliform, E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae and Yeast/Mold and 38 were awarded Emerald Badges. Forty-five labs reported results for salmonella, with 42 able to correctly identify the contaminated sample from the three-sample panel. Twelve labs enrolled in the Aspergillus Mold PT, with 11 awarded an Emerald Badge. There were 24 participants in the Pesticides PT with 19 meeting Emerald Badge criteria and four labs that did not report results. Trace pesticide residue testing is an extremely challenging analysis, even for expert laboratories.
Residual Solvents in Hemp Oil continues to be one of the more difficult quantitative tests. Forty-three labs reported results and 31 received Emerald Badges. Another challenging PT is Terpenes in Hemp Oil. Twenty-one labs participated in this PT even though it is not a common regulatory requirement in most states. Only 11 received Emerald Badges making it the PT with the lowest percentage of awards at 52%.
“The Emerald Test is the most comprehensive testing program in the world for the cannabis industry, but as the market grows more testing will be needed,” said Groggel. “We intend to continue introducing new proficiency tests while expanding the menu of matrix choices in response to laboratory requests and regulatory requirements.”
The Emerald Test program is guided by an advisory panel of chemists, accreditation providers, laboratory owners, and other industry experts to ensure the program is representative of the needs and capabilities of the industry while maintaining integrity and objectivity. The bi-annual test provides cannabis laboratories with the opportunity to demonstrate their competence to existing clients, potential customers, regulatory agencies and accreditation bodies.
The fall 2018 Emerald Test ILC/PT is open for enrollment through September 28, 2018. Testing will begin in mid-October. For more information visit http://emeraldtest.com/.
About Emerald Scientific
Emerald Scientific is the first and only company 100% dedicated to distributing scientific supplies and equipment to the cannabis industry. Offering the widest variety of quality products to meet all needs for cannabis testing, production, and extraction, Emerald Scientific is the worldwide leader of collaboration, transparency, and development of sophisticated scientific methods and data for the cannabis industry. Learn more at www.emeraldscientific.com
Editor's note: a full test summary is available upon request