ACS Laboratory’s Hemp Testing Certifications: A State-by-State Guide

ACS Laboratory’s Hemp Testing Certifications: A State-by-State Guide

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We’re thrilled to announce that ACS Laboratory is a USDA-approved Hemp Analytical Testing Laboratory, certified to test biomass in all regions that accept this federal designation. Additionally, we’re approved to test hemp in seven states that have launched their own programs. As a result, we offer the nation’s most comprehensive testing panel for hemp cannabinoids, heavy metals, mycotoxins, microbiology, residual solvents, moisture content, and pesticides, serving supply chain operators in 49 states.  And that’s just the beginning as we continue elevating industry standards on testing quality and accuracy.

 

States We’re Certified to Test Hemp In

New York

New York recently launched a unique hemp program focused on consumer safety and education. Although its biomass testing rules follow USDA standards, New York’s finished goods requirements are much more comprehensive than any other state. For example, most states only consider THC or CBD regarding potency analysis. However, New York requires that certified laboratories accurately test hemp products for 16 cannabinoids, including CBD, THCA-A, CBC, THCV, and more.

To adhere to New York’s laboratory requirements, we added five cannabinoids to our standard 11-analyte potency test. In addition, we proved our ability to accurately quantify cannabinoids using Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) with ultraviolet detection. As a result, we are a New York-state certified laboratory.

Colorado

We became Colorado state-certified to test hemp in December 2021–shortly after Colorado’s Department of Agriculture announced its new rules. Before receiving the Colorado certification, we tested for 67 pesticides per Florida’s rules, which had been the strictest in the nation. But since Colorado’s phase-two regulations took effect in April 2022, we ramped up our list to 102 harmful pesticides.

Beyond increasing our testing capacity, we also had to pass a comprehensive laboratory inspection. Colorado’s regulators toured our facility to ensure our instruments, machinery, procedures, and methodology met their quality standards. Regulators also reviewed our operations, including sanitization and cross-contamination prevention methods. This full-day event resulted in prompt approval of our laboratory as a Colorado Certified Hemp Testing site.

Florida

Florida’s hemp program was one of the first to receive USDA approval more than two years ago. Immediately after, we became the state’s first DEA Licensed, State Certified testing laboratory and remain the largest provider in Florida’s Southeastern region today.

Until Colorado’s latest pesticide rules and New York’s potency requirements took effect, Florida held the most stringent hemp regulations in the country. Their rules require that we invest in highly sensitive machinery to detect trace levels of all contaminants, including residual solvents, microbiology, mycotoxins, moisture and water sensitivity, and additives, like vitamin E. We also needed to create a user-friendly Certificate of Analysis to publish all compliance test results.

Pennsylvania

The USDA approved Pennsylvania’s hemp program in 2020, and our ACS Laboratory team received approval in 2021. We needed to adhere to the state’s guidelines for testing industrial hemp biomass to attain Pennsylvania hemp lab status.

Like the USDA, Pennsylvania’s hemp program focused solely on THC compliance testing. With that, ACS Laboratory needed to prove we could accurately quantify Delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis using one of the state’s approved analytical methods. Shortly after, we received approval and began delivering reliable performance, exceptional customer service, and dedicated scientific staff to Pennsylvania’s vast industry innovators.

Texas

In June 2019, Texas signed hemp into law shortly after the 2018 Farm Bill.  Like Pennsylvania, Texas’ hemp program focused on hemp biomass and only required THC potency testing for compliance purposes.

To receive a Texas hemp laboratory designation, we needed to submit an application to the Texas Department of Agriculture verifying our ability to quantify Delta-9 accurately. We also had to show proof of our DEA credentials and 17025 certifications, demonstrating our adherence to the highest national testing standards.

Wisconsin

To become a Wisconsin-certified hemp testing laboratory, we officially registered as a USDA-approved facility. This federal designation meant we could proficiently quantify THC potency in industrial hemp biomass and comply with federal requirements.

For instance, the USDA demands all laboratories be DEA-certified. Additionally, it strongly encourages hemp growers to work with ISO-accredited facilities. The USDA requires prospective labs to prove the validity of test results through appropriate testing methods, consistency of performance, and analyte sensitivity. Additionally, laboratories must be able to effectively dispose of non-compliant samples that test above the legal .3% THC limit.

 

States with Closed Loop Hemp Program

  • Washington
  • New Jersey
  • Arizona

Washington, New Jersey, and Arizona created closed-loop hemp programs that only allow in-state laboratories to participate. For instance, Washington requires growers to commission a Washington State Department of Agriculture sampler, and WSDA samplers do not contract with outside laboratories.

 

Our National Compliance Testing Panel

Today’s hemp regulatory landscape is confusing, to say the least. That’s why we’ve diligently followed every state hemp program and enhanced our testing methodology to align with the strictest standards for potency, pesticides, residual solvents, additives, and all dangerous contaminants.

With our vast knowledge of these disparate programs, we created elaborate matrices to compare each mandate state by state and analyte by analyte. Then, we designed a National Hemp Testing Panel and corresponding Certificate of Analysis (COA) covering the strictest compliance standards and pharmaceutical guidelines for heavy metals. This comprehensive panel allows us to offer multi-state hemp brands peace of mind to sell products across the country without risk while ensuring their products are safe to consume.

 

The Bottom Line

We’re honored to support hundreds of hemp farmers, manufacturers, processors, and retailers nationwide as we look ahead toward future expansion. Recently, we applied to test hemp in California and are continuing our due diligence to determine where we can get certified next. As more states expand their programs and strengthen requirements, we’ll be one of the first laboratories to align, ensuring our limit of quantitation.

We look forward to continually improving along with the industry as it matures.

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