Dear Herb: How much does it cost to get a batch of homegrown cannabis tested for THC and CBD? I appreciate knowing cannabinoid percentages, but at what cost? — Feeling Testy
Dear Testy: Thanks for your question.
As of today, there are almost 40 laboratories in Canada authorized by Health Canada to conduct analytical testing on cannabis: here's the official list, including contact information.
All of those labs have one important thing in common: they won't touch your cannabis unless you're a legally registered medical user, and you'll have to provide them with the documentation to prove it. (I expect that will change after the legalization of recreational cannabis.)
Now for the price check. I put your question to Emily Kirkham, an analytical chemist and founder of National Laboratory Services, which provides consulting services to laboratories.
"There's really too few labs right now, so the pricing for testing is quite high if you compare us to other jurisdictions like Oregon, for example, or Nevada or California even," she told me.
"Now, I think you can get a THC-CBD test for $100."Advertisement
Out of curiosity, I called up a number of the labs on Health Canada's list to check their pricing. The lowest price I was quoted for a cannabinoid content test was $75, and the highest price was $300. (I wasn't able to speak with every lab on the list, so that's not necessarily a conclusive account of the possible price range.) Some labs even offer a quantity discount for multiple samples. Turnaround times ranged from three business days to two weeks.
If you want to lab test your cannabis, you'll have to mail off a sample to your lab of choice, and you won't be getting it back. One lab says it needs just half a gram of your homegrown for a potency analysis, while another told me they needed five grams.
There are also a number of companies offering home cannabis potency-testing kits, but I can't speak to their accuracy. In my opinion, if you want the job done right, you should hire the pros.
Dear Herb: Could you address the meaning of "social sharing of up to 30 grams" as per the Cannabis Act? — Share Bear
Dear Share Bear: Let's crack open the Cannabis Act and take a look, shall we?
Under the proposed federal law, it would be illegal to share cannabis unless the following conditions are met:
- The sharer is 18 years old or older (provincial laws will make this 19 or older everywhere except Alberta and Quebec)
- The recipient of the cannabis is also of legal age
- The recipient is an individual, and not an organization
- The amount of cannabis being shared is no more than 30 grams (that's for dried cannabis bud, and the law will establish an equivalency schedule for other forms of cannabis)
- The cannabis is not known to the sharer to be "illicit cannabis," that is, cannabis that was produced illegally
In other words, an adult individual will be able to share a limited amount of cannabis with another adult, as long as that cannabis was purchased legally from a store or grown at home in accordance with federal and provincial laws.
Remember, selling isn't the same as sharing — and no, you won't be allowed share your weed with a buddy who wants to share some cash in exchange.
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