The companies listed in the Calgary lawsuit played into the hands of attorneys. The variable potency of cannabis is well-documented. Potency varies between crops and between individual buds from the same plant. Additionally, potency decreases as plant material ages. Some extract products may even experience an eight-month half-life, meaning 50% of the potency is lost every eight months
There is no silver bullet solution to overcome the threat of class action lawsuits. Cannabis companies must acknowledge that cannabis quality assurance is a challenge. They must adopt comprehensive standard operating procedures to address this challenge, including quick, inexpensive in-house testing. Analysis devices such as those offered by GemmaCert make possible what laboratories cannot: a better assessment of potency variance with more frequent sample analysis.
Because THC and CBD content varies widely from flower-to-flower, selecting a representative sample is difficult. Testing multiple samples – even with a testing unit slightly less accurate than conventional laboratory equipment – provides a far better understanding of the potency of a crop. A representative assessment of potency with multiple tests is more relevant to quality control than a highly accurate test from a single specimen.
Class action lawsuits are here to stay. Unfortunately, there are plenty of cannabis companies in denial or too arrogant to admit they have a quality assurance problem. They will go down and make lawyers rich along the way. The smarter ones will think risk mitigation by also investing in in-house testing. As a result, they will not only be better protected but consumer confidence in their products will rise, as well as brand loyalty, paving the way for sustainable profitability.