Canada’s leading cannabis product producer, Canopy Growth, was embroiled in a media scandal recently. Canopy Growth was reported to Health Canada’s Cannabis Compliance Directorate by a rival cannabis producer and accused of mislabeling products.

The cannabis producer was accused of falsifying the THC levels in their products after 18 different batches of products were labeled as having a flat 20% THC potency rate. The statistical likelihood of so many batches of cannabis products containing identical 20% THC rates is extremely low.

Cannabis in Canada

For Canadian cannabis consumers, the most significant incentive for purchasing a cannabis product other than price is potency. The minimum perfect potency preferred by Canadian consumers is 20%, meaning that growers aim to get their plants to achieve potency levels of at least 20%.

Currently, Canada’s licensed producers have over one billion grams of cannabis product held in storage due to low quality or insufficient potency. Over US$8 billion worth of products have been discarded for lack of quality and low THC level.

Each batch of product is required by Canadian law to be labeled accurate THC and CBD percentages. However, the cannabis regulations in Canadian law do not set THC or CBD variability limits for dried flower products. There are standards for the labeling of the potency of edibles and extracts. Health Canada claims that this is due to the potency levels of different parts of the plant and different batches having variations of potency levels.

Canopy Growth’s Response

Canopy Growth’s spokesperson released a statement claiming that only strains that meet the potency standards set for that particular product will be sold. Products are expected to meet this potency threshold after being tested by independent, third-party labs and in-house. In short, Canopy Growth state that they will only release products onto the market once they have met the company’s standard for potency in both an in-house test and a test performed in a third-party lab.

The Need for In-house Testing

Canopy Growth’s claims that their product has met the standards of in-house and independent testing and doubts presented by the statistical unlikelihood of so many batches achieving the minimum ideal threshold for cannabis potency illustrates the benefits of in-house testing.

Canopy Growth has adopted in-house testing in an effort to maintain a high standard of quality on their products and ensure that the best batches reach their consumers. Additionally, turning to in-house testing minimizes the risk of errors or failing to comply with potency regulations and minimizing wastage by determining potency levels early in the growing and production process.