California’s New Cannabis Testing Rules Lead to Decline in Reported THC Potency

The potency of regulated cannabis flower in California has significantly dropped in recent months, data reveals, following the implementation of new state rules standardizing testing methods. According to market analytics firm Headset, the median reported THC levels fell from 30.7% in December to around 28.5% by March 1st – a decline of 7% within just three months.

This downturn coincides with regulations adopted by the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) in 2022 that mandate standardized procedures for determining cannabinoid levels in dried flower and pre-rolls. The move aims to promote testing integrity and provide accurate potency information after longstanding concerns over inflated THC values.

“DCC is working to change that so there is greater integrity in the market, accurate information for consumers, and confidence among stakeholders,” stated Director Nicole Elliott when announcing the new guidelines.

Prior to the rules taking effect on January 1st, only 18 of California’s licensed cannabis testing labs demonstrated compliance initially. However, this number has since risen to 26 as more facilities adopt the mandated protocols.

Industry experts suggest the drop in reported potency simply reflects more reliable, consistent test results rather than an actual decrease in cannabis quality or strength. They assert previouslab shopping and methodological discrepancies allowed some inflated THC readings to proliferate.

“It is unlikely California cannabis is ‘suddenly getting weaker’…rather than cannabis getting weaker, recent changes may now provide a more accurate reflection of true potency,” said Andrea Golan, an attorney specializing in cannabis compliance.

As the legally regulated market matures, the new standardized testing should bolster consumer confidence by providing transparency into actual cannabinoid levels and product profiles across California.


  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment