LABORATORY SERVICES

Is Deibel Labs Accredited?

All Deibel Labs are ISO 17025:2017 Accredited and three are currently adding Cannabis testing methods to their respective Scopes of Accreditation.  We are also Licensed through the CA Bureau of Cannabis Control in our Santa Cruz, Ca Lab and the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Medicinal Plants.  The Santa Cruz, CA and Chicago, IL labs will have cannabis methods added to their ISO Scopes of Accreditation by the Summer of 2019.

Where are you located?

Currently, our Cannabis testing division is operating out of labs in Santa Cruz, CA; Gainesville, FL and Chicago, IL.  Other locations will be coming on line soon. 

What is your Turn Around Time for Sample results?

Deibel Labs has the goal of providing a fast turn-around time for all samples received by 3pm. Our labs operate 365 days a year.

What are the current state regulations for Cannabis?

California: With the passage of the Medical Marijuana Regulation Act (MMRSA) in 2015, Cannabis businesses in California are now subject to specific requirements including licensing, taxation, and mandatory laboratory Quality Assurance testing. Deibel Cannabis Labs can help you understand the required analyses, and acceptable limits for Category I & II Pesticides, Category I & II Residual Solvents, Microbiological Impurities and cannabinoid potency and profiles, and much more.

Florida and Illinois, have similar state statues and codes for medial cannabis products. 

What equipment do you use for our samples?

To meet the demand of our clients for accuracy as well as fast turn-around times, Deibel Cannabis Labs has invested in state of the art testing equipment. We have enough redundancy to meet our clients’ needs for accurate data you can trust and fast turn-around times.

ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE & HISTORY OF DEIBEL LABS

How is Deibel Labs different from other labs?

Deibel Labs, Inc. began in the early 1960’s and was one of the first contract Food testing labs in the United States. We have since grown to 14 strategically located labs across North America and are proud to announce our latest testing division for the Cannabis Industry, Deibel Cannabis Labs. We currently operate out of Santa Cruz, CA, and just received our cannabis license for our Chicago, IL Lab.  We are working on adding cannabis testing to our Gainesville, FL Lab next, with more locations coming on line in the future.

At our level in the industry, any lab should be able to offer accurate testing, at a fair price and a reasonable turn-around time.  These three qualities are no longer defining features; rather it is our high level of service and exceptional Technical Services acumen that set us apart.  Drawing on decades of experience in the food testing industry, we offer the highest level of technical expertise in the business.

We are a family owned and operated corporation and are not constrained by quarterly investor demands. Our size offers economics of scale that is reflected in our service and pricing. 

Our management team has extensive food industry experience and we understand that every day your batches are tied up waiting for results means your cash is tied up in inventory you can’t sell.

And when you have questions, or need help, our clients have direct access to Executive Leadership and Technical Services Directors just by calling, texting or emailing them directly.

We have made significant investments in testing equipment and people to bring industry leading turn-around times to the Cannabis Industry. Our management team has extensive food industry experience and we understand that every day your lots are tied up waiting for results, your cash is tied up in inventory you can’t sell.

Clients have direct access to Senior Laboratory Directors when they need it.

What is the History of Deibel Labs?

Deibel Labs was founded by Dr. Robert Deibel, one of America’s foremost experts in Food Safety, in the early 1960’s. He is one of the founding fathers of HACCP, developed the first ever “rapid” microbiological test for Salmonella, has published over 67 scientific papers and has served as a legal expert in many court cases. Dr. Deibel spent his early career as a college professor, teaching Food Science and Microbiology to undergrads at the University of Wisconsin and Cornell University, and graduated 21 PhD’s and hundreds of Masters students.  His wife, Carol Deibel was an elementary school teacher.  Their shared love of teaching translated into the strong educational focus that they brought to Deibel Labs.  Their legacy is still evident today in the training classes and daily consulting we give to our clients.  We are more than just a testing lab.  

Charles Deibel was named President of Deibel Labs in 2005 and continued to build on the client services that was started with Dr. and Mrs. Deibel. Charles, a food microbiologist by training, is a food safety expert in his own right, having testified in numerous legal cases as an expert witness, including congressional testimony. Charles is also a HACCP expert and Lead Instructor, and brings that regulatory and food safety expertise to our cannabis clients.

SAMPLE SUBMISSION

Do you offer pickups?

Deibel Cannabis Labs maintains a fleet of courier vans for the pickup and sampling of cannabis samples. In Illinois and California, all regulatory compliance test samples must be taken by an associate of the testing laboratory using validated methods to ensure that the sample is representative of the production batch produced.  

Currently, samples cannot be picked up by the lab in IL.  A Field Technicians must obtain the physical samples but the client must deliver the samples to the lab for testing.

Can I send you my samples? 

Clients are welcome to drop off non-compliance samples in person but only if they are R&D samples. Products for sale must be sampled by a laboratory associate at a licensed distribution facility. Each compliance package we offer has unique sample-size requirements, as does the individual tests for non-compliance testing of individual assays.   

What is the recommended Sample Size?

If you're submitting a sample for a full compliance package, the sample size requirements are dependent upon the original Batch/Lot size.  The field technician will collect the minimum sizes below to ensure a representative sample sufficient for the state’s testing requirements; however, for batches/lots larger than the sizes listed will require larger sample sizes:

 

  State Testing Requirements

Cannabis

Cannabis Infused Products 

CA Phase I-III Testing as of December 31, 2018*

17 g – 79 g

(Up to 50 lbs. Batch size)

23 g

FL Testing

20 g

(Up to 1 lbs. Batch)

20 g

IL Testing

20 g

(Up to 10 lbs. Batch size)

20 g

You must submit samples in a sterile sample container, to avoid any potential for microbial contamination.  You can purchase sterile sample containers from our lab, or use your own.  We are happy to offer guidance on appropriate sampling containers, just ask!

TESTING AND REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

Do I have to use a third party testing Laboratory?

Yes. In all States where Cannabis is legal (for medical or recreational), States have implemented regulations that stipulate the use of a licensed laboratory for the required testing.  This Lab license cannot be given to a company or individual that owns an interest in related cannabis business (i.e. a dispensary, cultivation facility or processing center). 

What tests do I need for my samples?

California:

The State of California has a written code that delineates all cannabis activities conducted in the State called Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations.  The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) was established to regulate and inforce the Title 16 regulations.   The testing on cannabis and cannabis products has established (16 CCR 5715) phase-in of all required testing:

Source: http://bcc.ca.gov/about_us/documents/17-261_required_testing_chart.pdf

Florida:

The State of Florida has amended their State Constitution to include medical marijuana, specifically Article X Section 29 of the Florida Constitution and 381.986 Florida Statutes.

(http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/office-of-medical-marijuana-use/index.html).

Currently, the State of FL has drafted Rule 64-4.016 Marijuana Testing Laboratories and Testing Standards regulations outlining the proposed testing requirements as listed below.

 

TEST METHOD

Minimum Low-THC Cannabis Products (g)

Minimum Medicinal Marijuana (g)

Minimum Medicinal Derivative (g)

Minimum Edible (g)

 

Cannabinoids Potency Testing

1

1

1

1

Microbial Contamination Testing

11

11

11

11

Mycotoxins  

1

1

1

1

Residual Solvents

N/A

N/A

1

1

Heavy Metals

1

1

1

1

Pesticides, Herbicides & Fungicides

1

1

1

1

Water Activity

1 / 1.2

1 / 1.2

1 / 1.2

1 / 1.2                 (solid / semi-solid)

Moisture Content

1 / 1.2

1 / 1.2

1 / 1.2

1 / 1.2

Foreign Material

Whole Sample

Whole Sample

Whole Sample

Whole Sample

Homogeniety

N/A

N/A

N/A

10 samples of multiserving products

Minimum Sample Needed for Florida Compliance Testing:

17 g - 17.4 g

17 g - 17.4 g

18 g - 18.4 g

18 g - 18.4 g

Illinois:

Immediately prior to manufacturing or natural processing of any cannabis or cannabis-infused product or packaging cannabis for sale to a dispensary, each batch shall be made available at the cultivation center for an employee of an approved laboratory to select a random sample, which shall be tested by the approved (licensed) laboratory for the testing described in the below table.  

Manufacturers must supply a list of the following ingredients, including the minimum and maximum percentage content by weight, for all cannabis and cannabis products, for:  delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and any other ingredients besides cannabis.  The acceptable tolerances for the minimum percentage printed on the label shall not be below 85% or above 115% of the labeled amount.

STATE OF ILLINOIS - PHASE-IN OF REQUIRED LABORATORY TESTING

INHALABLE CANNABIS & OTHER CANNABIS PRODUCTS

JANUARY 1, 2018

Cannabinoids Potency Testing (THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA)

 

Residual Solvents and Processing Chemicals Testing (CO2 and Solvent based extracts)

 

Residual Pesticides Testing (18 total)

 

Microbial Contamination Testing (APC < 10,000/g, YM <1000/g, Coliforms <100, Bile Tolerant Gram Neg <100)

 

Microbial Impurities Testing (Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp.) Neg per gram

 

Mycotoxins <20 μg//kg of substance = Alfatoxin (B1, B2, G1, G2) & Ochratoxin. 

 

 

What are Microbial Impurities?

California, Florida, and Illinois each have established different requirements for the microbiological quality and safety of cannabis and cannabis products.

 

California Microbial Impurities:

A sample of inhalable cannabis or inhalable cannabis product shall be deemed to have passed if the following are met:

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli is not detected in 1 gram;

Salmonella spp. is not detected in 1 gram; and

Pathogenic Aspergillus species A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, and A. terreus are not detected in 1 gram.

 

A sample of other cannabis or cannabis product shall be deemed to have passed the microbial impurities testing if:

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli  = not detected in 1 gram, and

Salmonella spp.  =  not detected in 1 gram.

 

Florida Microbial Impurities:

E.coli (STEC) and Salmonella Not Detected in 10 grams; Total fungus, yeast, and mold Not Detected per 1 gram. 

 

Illinois Microbial Impurities:

The State has established quantitative limits for Microbial Impurities.  The IL limit is <10,000/g for Total viable aerobic bacteria, <1,000/g Total yeast and mold and <100/g for Total Coliforms and for Bile-tolerant gram-negative bacteria, which is basically a broader form of a Coliform. For E. coli (STEC) and Salmonella spp. as Non-Detected in 1 gram samples. 

 

Illinois further establishes a fungal toxin assay requirement on processed materials include minimally processed crude cannabis preparations such as inflorescences, accumulated resin glands (kief), and compressed resin glands (hashish). Processed materials include various solid or liquid infused edible preparations, oils, topical preparations, and water-processed resin glands (bubble hash).  For purposes of the mycotoxin test, a cannabis sample shall be deemed to have passed if it meets the following standards: <20 μg//kg of substance = Alfatoxin (B1, B2, G1, G2) & Ochratoxin.

Why we use Liquid Chromatography (LC) instead of Gas Chromatography (GC) We have invested in High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC-UV) to screen for cannabinoids because it allows us to detect the acid compounds as well as the neutral states, something a Gas Chromatography machine cannot perform. The difference in the equipment investment for HPCL-UV versus GC is significant. Gas Chromatography (GC), an alternative method widely used for cannabis analysis, uses heat during the analytical process, causing the acids to break down. Because these acids breakdown during analysis, a GC is unable to give an accurate picture of acid forms; the precursors to THC and CBD. This makes it inappropriate for testing products that will not be heated prior to consumption, such as edibles and tinctures, and limit its ability to accurately identify the acid forms (THCA, CBDA, CBGA). HPLC, on the other hand, uses high pressured liquid and alcohol solvents which don't require heat and therefore don’t alter the cannabinoids during analysis.

What Pesticides do you test for? 

Various States have adapted different requirements for Pesticides testing in Cannabis, but all originate from EPA protocols for environmental pesticide analysis. 

California Category I and II Pesticide Screening - Includes all 66 compounds required by the state beginning July 1st, 2018. Category I pesticides are not allowed at any level; Category II pesticides have certain allowable limits.

California Category I Pesticides Include 21 compounds all with a zero tolerance. These compounds include Chlorfenapyr, Chlorpyrifos, Coumaphos, Daminozide, DDVP (Dichlorvos), Dimethoate, Ethoprop(hos), Etofenprox, Fenoxycarb, Fipronil, Imazalil, Methiocarb, Methyl parathion, Mevinphos, Paclobutrazol, Propoxur, Spiroxamine, Thiacloprid.

California Category II Pesticides have certain allowable limits.  This list includes Abamectin, Acephate, Acequinocyl, Acetamiprid, Azoxystrobin, Bifenazate, Bifenthrin, Boscalid, Captan, Carbaryl, Chlorantraniliprole, Clofentezine, Cyfluthrin, Cypermethrin, Diazinon, Dimethomorph, Etoxazole, Fenhexamid, Fenpyroximate, Flonicamid, Fludioxonil, Hexythiazox, Imidacloprid, Kresoxim-methyl, Malathion, Metalaxyl, Methomyl, Myclobutanil, Naled, Oxamyl, Permethrin, Phosmet, Piperonylbutoxide, Prallethrin, Propiconazole, Pyrethrins, Pyridaben, Spinetoram, Spinosad, Spiromesifin, Spirotetramat, Tebuconazole, Thiamethoxam, Trifloxystrobin.

 The State of Florida has identified 61 Pesticides listed as a concern; this list is very similar to the State of California’s requirements, as identified above.

The State of Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Medicinal Plants requires the testing for the following 18 pesticides:

 

ILLINOIS PESTICIDE

INSTRUMENT

PESTICIDE

INSTRUMENT

 As of January, 2018

Abamectin

LC-MSMS

Imazalil

GC-MSMS

Acequinocyl

LC-MSMS

Imidacloprid

LC-MSMS

Bifenthrin

LC-MSMS

Myclobutanil

LC-MSMS

Bifenzate

LC-MSMS

Paclobutrazol

GC-MSMS

Chlormequat Chloride

LC-MSMS

Spinosyn A

LC-MSMS

Cyfluthrin

GC-MSMS

Spinosyn D

LC-MSMS

Daminozide

GC-MSMS

Spiromesifen

LC-MSMS

 

What are (Residual) Solvents and do you test for them?

Increasingly, more and more patients and consumers are seeking concentrated forms of Cannabis (i.e wax, budder, amber glass, shatter, etc.). These types of concentrates are produced by using a solvent (such as CO2, Butane, ethane, propane, etc.) to extract cannabinoids from the flower. Heat is typically used to remove the solvent from the concentrate, but trace amounts can be left behind that may be harmful. 

 

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control has two levels of Residual Solvents required for testing in appropriate sample matrices, as of July 1, 2018.  A sample shall be deemed to have passed the residual solvents and processing chemicals testing if both of the following conditions are met.  Similar to the Pesticides Category I Residual Solvents have a zero tolerance and Category II have certain allowable limits.

 

In the State of Florida, there are 23 Residual Solvents currently listed as a concern in the draft regulations.

 

In Illinois, “For purposes of the residue solvent test, a cannabis sample shall be below 10 ppm.

 

REPORTING OF RESULTS

California Clients: The Bureau of Cannabis Control has limited what can be shared with cannabis clients.  Specifically, “The bureau’s regulations do not permit the reporting of any results prior to the completion of analyses, nor prior to the release of the regulatory compliance COA. Laboratories are not permitted to release results as they become available via an online portal or any other type of notification. (For example, it is not permitted to allow the requester to access or notify them of results upon completion of each individual analysis— cannabinoid, pesticide, microbial testing, etc.)” - August 24, 2018 New Fact Sheet from BCC

For a copy of the full Lab Fact Sheet from the BCC, please contact your local Deibel Cannabis Lab and they will be more than happy to send you a copy.

 

How do you report results?

All Cannabis Laboratory functions are controlled and monitored through a Laboratory Management Information System or LIMS.  The LIMS system we use across our network is compliant to CDC, FDA, USDA and State Cannabis Regulations.  The LIMS system is audited annually by clients as well for ISO 17025:2017 Accreditation for data security and compliance.

 

Deibel Cannabis Labs utilizes a unique Formal Report for all cannabis and cannabis related products.  This Formal Report is reviewed by Laboratory Management, then submitted electronically to our clients via email or fax.  Additionally, all data for individual samples as well as the completed Formal Report can be viewed and downloaded through a secure Client Web Portal using a unique username/password.  To get setup on the Web Portal, please contact your Lab Manager or Sales Associate.

 

For California clients, the BCC mandates that the lab send a copy of the Formal Report to them within 24 hours of all testing being finalized.

 

Can I view my results on line?

Yes.  All data from individual samples, as well as completed Formal Reports can be viewed through a Client Web Portal.  You can search for individual batches, send reports to others through the secure connection, as well as perform trend analysis for historical data to see how your results have changed over time.

 

For California clients, only the completed Formal Reports are available for compliance testing; labs are not allowed to notify clients for any test that failed, either through an online web portal or through phone/text/email.  Only the final compliance COA can be sent once all testing is completed. However, once a compliance COA is finalized after all testing is done, it can be posted on our client web portal as well as emailed to both the client and to the BCC.  Through this web-portal, you can send these COAs to others.

 

How do you report Out of Specification (OOS) results?

For California R&D samples, Illinois Clients and Florida Clients, you will receive a Service Call from the lab as soon as the OOS is obtained by the lab as long as you have provided the Lab with a list of the samples’ specifications (i.e. “Potency should be 80-85%” as you would record on the SARF that is sent along with your samples).  Service Calls are a program Deibel Labs started over 20 years ago as a mechanism to quickly notify our clients of any adverse test result.  These are given out by our chemists and microbiologists who have first-hand knowledge of your samples.  This is a great mechanism to be able to ask them technical questions.  If you need additional technical advice, the chemist or microbiologist will get a member of our Technical Services Group on the phone so you can get the answers you need.

 

For California Compliance Samples, the BCC has mandated that labs are not allowed to notify clients of an OOS result until the entire compliance testing is completed and the Formal Report is sent to the client and to the BCC.  For R&D samples, there is no BCC reporting mandate, so you should receive a Service Call from the labs for any OOS result.