Our Certification Process

A Distributor’s Guide to Sampling

What is compliance sampling?

In order to ensure a batch meets legal specifications, sampling must be performed at a licensed distribution facility by a laboratory sampling technician. The goal is to collect representative samples (minimize variability) and safely transport the samples to the lab. The lab will provide a certificate of analysis once all testing is complete.

What information must I provide when scheduling a sampling visit?

Distributor InformationBatch Information
Distributor NameNumber and type of batches
License numberTotal batch weight and/or number of units
AddressIf unpackaged harvest batch, description of storage containers
Primary ContactIf packaged, size and quantity of retail packages
PhoneAny additional tests to be performed on each batch if applicable (in
addition to compliance testing, e.g. aerobic plate count, yeast and
mold, pesticide category II and/or homogeneity)
EmailBatch ID numbers
Access InstructionsEnvironmental Transport Requirements i.e. refrigeration
Batch Cultivator/Manufacturer Information
– Name
– Address
– License Number

What should the distributor provide the samplers?

❏ Clean, well ventilated and well lit area
❏ 120VAC available for balances / equipment
❏ Table(s) large enough to stage entire batch
❏ Separate sampling table at least 48″ x 24”
❏ Secure parking within 50 yards, in view of security cameras or security personnel
❏ Security escort to vehicle after sampling
❏ Space for both the Sampler and a Distributor observer
❏ If possible, Wi-Fi access and a copy machine for Distributor copies of Sampling Logs

What does the distributor need to do?

  • Ensure batch sizes meet requirements.
  • Ensure each batch container is labeled in accordance with BCC regulations section 5302.
  • Video record the sampling event. The batch number, time and date must be indicated at the beginning of the video. The video recordings shall be retained for 180 days.
  • A Distributor representative shall be physically present to observe entire sampling event.
    • The representative shall not assist the laboratory employee nor touch the Cannabis goods or sampling equipment while the sampler is collecting the sample.
    • The representative shall not distract or talk to the laboratory employee during sampling unless the laboratory employee initiates conversation.
  • The Distributor must supply the Sampler with a valid Shipping Manifest for transportation and must also email the shipping manifest to the Bureau of Cannabis Control at bcc@dca.ca.gov
  • After samples have been collected, both the Distributor and the Sampler shall sign and date the Sampling Order Summary, Sample Field Log, Chain of Custody form, and Shipping Manifest.

The Sampling Process

General Requirements

  • Area where batch(es) are stored must be available for inspection.
  • Entire batch must be available for inspection and sampling.
  • Batches are expected to be in their final form as outlined in the regulations. Batches should NOT be altered in any way after sampling, aside from packaging. Examples of alterations not allowed include adding terpenes, flavors, other forms of Cannabis and/or mixing Cannabis batches.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Regardless of batch size, two samples (‘primary’ and ‘duplicate’) will be collected and tested for each batch. Each sample will be of the same approximate weight or number of units and both samples will be tested. Each sample will be a composite of the increments (see below for definition).

Specific Requirements (based on batch type)

Homogeneity Testing

For edible Cannabis products with more than one serving, a homogeneity test is required for each SKU every six months or when the manufacturing process or composition of the edible changes. The test ensures that the THC content of the product is the same from serving to serving. See ‘homogeneity increments’ in table above for number of increments (retail units) required for this test, though more increments can be added at the client’s discretion. These increments will be collected in addition to normal compliance sampling.