One balmy Saturday morning, I decided to visit the new smoke shop down the street from my house. The outside sign advertised CBD, and it reminded me that I was long overdue for a new review piece. So I stopped by to check out what they had and wound up with a completely different story instead.
In a glass case were several strains of prepackaged hemp flower. I decided this would be a good topic and asked if I could take a peek at the COA for a specific strain that caught my eye. The attendant, who had been friendly and helpful, looked slightly confused as he said they didn't have one on file.
As it turned out, they didn't have a COA for any of their products. This flew up a major red flag for me and I wound up purchasing only some shisha for my hookah before leaving.
What is a COA?
A COA is short for Certificate of Analysis. It contains the results of third-party testing that determines potency, contaminates, terpene profiles, and other information for hemp and marijuana products. Retailers and brands who carry hemp products should always carry current COAs for all products in their inventory.
Why is no COA a red flag?
Brands who invest in testing are investing in transparency and trust with their customers. Stores without COAs convey a message that the product being advertised isn't all that it is shown to be.
Additionally, a COA verifies a hemp product is within the federal and state level requirements. A product without a COA is open to the suspicion of being over the federal THC limit for hemp products or contains harmful pesticides or heavy metals.
Bottom line - COAs are important. Not having a COA available is a red flag that could not only cost businesses customers but opens the doorway to legal repercussions.
This article should not be taken as legal council. Please consult with an attorney for any questions or concerns regarding legal matters.