Analytical Testing

Analytical testing of Cannabis

Analytical Testing

Conduct analytical testing for purity, potency, identity.

Verify the requirement for an analytical testing licence.

Check to see if an analytical testing licence is the right class of licence before submitting an application. An analytical testing licence must be applied for by both individuals and businesses who seek to possess cannabis for testing purposes and alter its chemical or physical characteristics in any way (see below for definition of cannabis). The following testing procedures may be included in analytical testing procedures, but they are not limited to them: chemical contaminants, microbial contaminants, cannabinoid content, dissolution or disintegration, sterility, stability testing, and/or pesticides. This includes checking that licence holders who are subject to the Mandatory cannabis testing for pesticide active ingredients requirements comply with the regulations.

If you or your organization hold(s) another licence under the Cannabis Act, you may already be authorized to conduct analytical testing activities under the terms of that licence (for example, in-house testing for THC or CBD).

License for analytical testing for cannabis products

Important:  As per the Cannabis Act, cannabis (including hemp) means: 

  • Any part of a cannabis plant, including the phytocannabinoids produced by, or found in, such a plant, regardless of whether that part has been processed or not, other than a part of the plant referred to in Schedule 2;
  • Any substance or mixture of substances that contains or has on it any part of such a plant; or
  • Any substance that is identical to any phytocannabinoid produced by, or found in, such a plant, regardless of how the substance was obtained.

The term cannabis DOES NOT include:

  • A non-viable seed of a cannabis plant;
  • A mature stalk, without any leaf, flower, seed or branch, of such a plant;
  • Fibre derived from a mature stalk; or
  • The root or any part of the root of such a plant.

Health Canada is pleased to announce that the Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Concerning Cannabis Research and Testing and Cannabis Beverages and the Order Amending Schedule 3 to the Cannabis Act came into force on December 2, 2022 and will be published inthe Canada Gazette, Part II on December 21, 2022. 

Improving access to cannabis testing materials: 

  • Analytical testing licence holders and government laboratories can now produce, distribute, and sell reference standards and manufacture and assemble test kits.
  • Individuals working in government laboratories are automatically allowed to do these activities.
  • Current analytical testing licence holders will need to amend their licence to be authorized for these activities. 

Updated qualifications for Head of Laboratory positions for analytical testing licences: 

  • The educational qualifications for the Head of Laboratory position for an analytical testing licence holder have been expanded to allow for a larger pool of qualified candidates to occupy this role.