Sample Submission Guidelines

Starting January 1, 2018, licensed marijuana businesses will need to follow new testing requirements in the Medical (M) and Retail (R) 1500 Series rules.  Our sample submission guidelines will help you understand the changes.

Which Tests are Required?

Test Type Medical Retail
Potency (flower) Yes Yes
Potency (concentrate) Yes Yes
Potency (infused product) Yes Yes
Homogeneity (infused product) Yes Yes
Microbial (flower) Yes Yes
Microbial (infused product) Yes Yes
Microbial (water-based concentrate) Yes Yes
Residual Solvents (solvent-based concentrate) Yes Yes
Pesticides (flower) Yes Yes
Pesticides (concentrate) TBD TBD
Mycotoxins (remediated concentrate) Yes Yes
Heavy Metals Jan 1, 2020 Jan 1, 2020

Medical and Retail Marijuana, Concentrates, and Infused Products require Cannabinoid Potency testing (M 1503R 1503). Retail Marijuana, water-based Concentrates, and Infused Products require Microbial Contaminant testing (R 1501 C 1). Starting February 1st, 2018, Medical Marijuana, water-based Concentrates, and Infused Products will require Microbial Contaminant Testing (M 1501 C 1). Retail Marijuana Concentrates require Residual Solvent Analysis (R 1501 C 4). Starting February 1st, 2018, Medical Marijuana Concentrates will require Residual Solvent Analysis (MED Bulletin 17-09 and M 1501 C 4).

Sample Size Requirements

Medical / Retail Marijuana

Harvest Batch Size Sampling Size Test Batch Size
≤ 10 pounds 8 separate 0.5 gram Samples 4 grams
10.01 – 20 pounds 12 separate 0.5 gram Samples 6 grams
20.01 – 30 pounds 15 separate 0.5 gram Samples 7.5 grams
30.01 – 40 pounds 18 separate 0.5 gram Samples 9 grams
40.01 – 100 pounds 23 separate 0.5 gram Samples 11.5 grams
> 100 pounds 29 separate 0.5 gram Samples 14.5 grams

Medical / Retail Marijuana Concentrate

Production Batch Size Sampling Size Test Batch Size
≤ 1 pound 8 separate 0.25 gram Samples 2 grams
1.01 – 2 pounds 12 separate 0.25 gram Samples 3 grams
2.01 – 3 pounds 15 separate 0.25 gram Samples 3.75 grams
3.01 – 4 pounds 18 separate 0.25 gram Samples 4.5 grams
4.01 – 10 pounds 23 separate 0.25 gram Samples 5.75 grams
> 10 pounds 29 separate 0.25 gram Samples 7.25 grams

 M 1504 B.3R 1504 B.3, Emergency Rules: 2018-00071, 2018-00072

NOTE: While the minimum sample size for submission is 2 grams for a production batch up to one pound, we need a minimum of 0.5 grams for potency, 0.5 grams for residual solvent analysis, and 2 grams for microbial contamination. If you plan to combine multiple test types into your test package, make sure that your test package not only meets the CDPHE’s required minimum sample amount, but also the amount that we require. For example, if you create a test package that contains potency, residual solvents, and microbial tests, we will need 3 grams at a minimum.

The CDPHE’s Marijuana Concentrates Sampling Procedures states,

The Sample amount collected must meet the requirements outlined in 1 CCR 212-1/2 R/M 1500 and must be sufficient to complete the analyses as defined by the marijuana testing facility and/or Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Medical / Retail Marijuana Product

Production Batch Size Sample Size Test Batch Size
1 – 100 products 2 separate Samples 1
101 – 500 products 4 separate Samples 1
501 – 1000 products 6 separate Samples 1
1,001 – 5,000 products 8 separate Samples 1
5,001 – 10,000 products 10 separate Samples 1
> 10,000 products 12 separate Samples 1

Samples must be submitted in final packaging per M 1504 B.4 and R 1504 B.4

Submitting your Samples

Sampling Procedures

The CDHPE Reference Library’s sample collection protocols must be used for the collection of marijuana/marijuana product samples submitted to marijuana testing facilities for required testing in accordance with R 1504 A 1 and M 1504 A 1.


Combining Required Tests

You may elect to submit each Test Batch separately, but the MED also gives you the option of combining multiple tests into one Test Batch, which you can submit using one METRC tag.

MED Industry Bulletin 17-09 states:

The Samples collected may be composited into a single physical package and submitted as a single Test Batch. That single Test Batch may be submitted for multiple required tests.

Please note: you can no longer combine multiple Harvest or Production Batches into a single Test Batch.

…multiple Harvest or Production Batches may not be combined into a single Test Batch.