Cannabis quality control in Florida starts with the Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC’s). MMTC’s need to ensure they are producing the highest quality cannabis products that are free of pesticides, mycotoxins, residual solvents, heavy metals, micro-organisms, and other impurities.

In order to validate that cannabis products are free of these contaminants, MMTC’s in Florida are required to contract with accredited laboratories like Modern Canna. Up until now, the credibility of the cannabis testing industry in the United States has been under scrutiny. Like any new industry, several of the early pioneers were able to cut corners, and they did. Reporting inflated potency results and deeming products safe for human consumption, when in fact, hazardous contaminants were present at high levels, was not an uncommon occurrence.

Modern Canna has worked closely with the Florida Department of Health’s (FDOH) Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU) for several years to ensure that cannabis laboratories in Florida are held accountable. One of our goals is to help the cannabis testing industry gain more credibility by reassuring industry professionals, legislators, advocates, and patients that there are scientifically proven ways to ensure that accurate data is being produced. The way we reassure our clients is through transparency and physically showing them what to look for in order to verify the accuracy of the data. Our promise to our clients and to the medical patients in Florida is that we will continue to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to cannabis quality control in the lab.

Cannabis Quality Control Process

Modern Canna goes above and beyond to ensure that results, found in every final report and every certificate of analysis (COA) issued, are verifiable, reproducible, and defensible. Our company is able to accomplish this by running strict quality control with every batch tested that includes at least a method blank, a laboratory control sample, a laboratory control sample duplicate, a matrix spike, and matrix spike duplicate.

  • Method Blank – A Method Blank is a contaminant free pure matrix that is used to identify possible contamination in the handling and preparation of the sample batch.
  • Matrix Spike (MS) – MS samples are separated into three segments. One segment is used to determine which target analytes are present, while the other two are spiked by the laboratory with a known concentration of the target analyte. The spiked sample is prepared and ran together with the un-spiked samples. The amount of analyte that is recovered from the spiked sample is identified, quantified, and reported as “percent recovery”. The term “Matrix” refers to the actual material of the sample. The MS allows the laboratory to demonstrate method accuracy for a particular sample material.
  • Matrix Spike Duplicate (MSD) – Duplicate control sample that is processed with each batch.
  • Laboratory Control Sample (LCS) – LCS samples are also contaminant free and are spiked with a known concentration of the target analyte. Unlike the MS and MSD, the LCS allows the analysts to determine analyte recovery accuracy without any matrix interference’s.
  • Laboratory Control Sample Duplicate (LCSD) – Duplicate control sample that is processed with each batch.

The Calibration Curve

We use the calibration curve model when analyzing cannabis samples. This is done by comparing the client sample, which is of unknown concentration, to a set of standard samples whose concentration is known. The calibration curve helps us understand the instrumental response to an analyte and determines the concentration of the unknown (client) sample.

For greater accuracy, we run the standard samples in the same matrix as the unknown sample. This matrix contains all the components of the sample minus the analyte of interest. This includes all proteins, metals, ions, salts, etc.

Internal and External Hemp Quality Control

Modern Canna tackles cannabis and hemp quality control on an internal and external basis.

Internal Quality Control

This includes the monitoring of all testing procedures, equipment, and personnel. The equipment monitoring, for example, may include regular interval checkups of incubators to confirm they’re at the right temperatures. Likewise, monitoring of staff ensures they follow stringent protocol and don’t engage in “shortcuts” that may invalidate test results. Our advanced Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) makes it virtually effortless to keep track of everything happening in the lab on a day-to-day basis.

External Quality Control

This is an overview analysis of our internal quality control by an external agency. External quality control ensures long-term accuracy and adherence to the latest quality control regulations. Some labs that claim they meet quality control practices only implement internal quality control measures. Both internal and external controls are necessary to ensure all laboratory functions are operating correctly and efficiently. Modern Canna is ISO/IEC 17025 accredited and NELAP certified. Both organizations conduct biennial audits of all laboratory processes and personnel.

Proficiency Testing

This is a procedure that determines the performance of individual labs for specific tests and measurements.

Proficiency testing, also known as inter-laboratory comparison, is an additional part of Modern Canna’s quality control system. The results from our lab are measured against those obtained from other laboratories. Actively engaging in a proficiency testing program ensures these key benefits:

  • Technical and procedural competence
  • Identification of areas that don’t meet quality control standards
  • Increased consumer trust in the lab’s accuracy of results
  • Verification of effective training

Quality Control and Quality Assurance

Clients can be sure that our testing meets quality assurance standards. While quality control utilizes statistical measurements to analyze a lab’s ability to analytical specifications, quality assurance is about ensuring the adherence of proper testing guidelines and protocol.

Only Entrust Your Cannabis or Hemp Samples with a Lab that Runs Full Quality Control

We advise to always choose a lab that can validate results with a full quality control report.

Contact Modern Canna for more information about cannabis quality control testing in Florida and hemp quality control testing anywhere in the United States.

Additional “Cannabis Testing Quality Control” Resources:

  1. Global Compliance Panel, Calibration Curve in Chemistry, https://www.globalcompliancepanel.com/control/calibration-curve-in-chemistry
  2. Proficiency Testing, What Is Proficiency Testing? https://www.hn-proficiency.com/profi.htm