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Quality Control: A Step By Step Explanation

We’re frequently asked about product testing. What do we test for and why? Who’s responsible for the testing? How is testing performed?

We believe in being fully transparent about our manufacturing processes so people can feel empowered to make educated decisions about the cannabis products available to them. With that in mind, following is a breakdown of our meticulous quality-control process that ensures BLOOM FARMS products are safe and consistent.

Quality starts at the source

No matter the extraction process or final form, a finished cannabis product is always better when it starts from a great plant. Our production team has over 20 years of combined processing experience, and over the years, we’ve seen an incredible array of raw material—both good and bad. We understand how to carefully select the finest-quality raw material to make our products. So quality control begins with our on-staff procurement manager (PM), who personally visits every new farm we do business with to meet the growers, observe their operations and learn more about their plants.

Using his background in organic farming and agricultural certification, the PM evaluates: Are the cultivation practices sound? Are any pesticides being used? Are these healthy plants likely to create great taste and effects? Do their plants and operation reflect an ability to produce quality, consistent crops?  

To begin the material intake process, qualifying farm batches are prepared for analysis. Samples of the plant material are systematically taken from different parts of each batch, then combined and sent for testing.   

Lab testing for safety

Like with food, it’s important to know whether we’re ingesting something harmful hidden within our cannabis. The State of California requires a battery of tests on final products to ensure that they can legally enter the market. These include a pesticides screening, microbiological screening, heavy metals and foreign materials screening, residual solvent testing, terpene testing and potency claim screening. Testing is actually required for an incredible number of different compounds (most obviously, THC and CBD).

A main concern to consumers is the presence of harmful pesticides. We’ve prioritized safety on this issue by adding an extra step of testing a micro-extract.

To achieve this, our lab uses a miniature CO2 extractor to mimic the same large-scale extraction we perform to create our oils and create the micro-extract for testing. (This process is identical to what’s done in actual production. Using the same extraction method for pre-screening ensures better accuracy throughout the entire process.)

After the sample is created we send the sample out to not one, but three, labs to make sure the sample is safe for consumption. If a sample fails, the cannabis is left at the farm at which it was tested and never enters the facility. This ensures no contamination throughout all of our processes.

Third-party testing and state testing

Each batch of micro-extract is sent to three third-party labs for independent pesticide screening. We take great pride in being certified by a third-party lab in addition to meeting California’s regulatory standards because we believe cannabis should be clean and safe for consumers.

When we first started in 2014, working with third-party labs was very difficult. Many of the most reputable testing labs opted not to work with cannabis companies because of gray areas in the law—but that has fortunately changed. We are proud to be forward-thinking on this matter, which serves only to benefit the safety of cannabis users.

The final products are quarantined until the testing results are returned by third-party labs, which electronically submit results to the state. Upon passing, products are cleared for sale; any product that fails is required to be destroyed.

Ensuring consistency

Our team doesn’t take initial quality for granted. We maintain our commitment to creating the best-quality cannabis products by maintaining close relationships with our growers and regularly re-testing. By remaining diligent about sampling and imposing multiple layers of evaluation and lab-testing throughout our production process, we can confidently stand behind each BLOOM FARMS product.

That’s why we print it on the package: “Our products are meticulously lab-tested.”

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