Understanding Market and Testing Process

Before choosing an area of study it is important to understand the players in this new legal market.

Overall Market Structure

  1. Producers & Processors: Growing and processing products that meets regulation
  2. Labs: Testing marijuana samples to ensure compliance with regulations
  3. Consumers: Buy goods and use them.
  4. State: Setting regulation to meet safety standards

Often, producers and processors are run by the same company. There are some independent growers (producers)  and some independent processors. A key element of the supply chain is lab testing. Labs are independently owned and operated. Washington State requires that a representative sample of each batch of marijuana undergo lab testing to meet state minimum requirements. Once marijuana samples have passed testing, they are returned to the processors to be converted into usable products. Usable products are then sold to retail stores at a markup. Licensed stores can sell products to anyone with a government-issued ID who is over the age of 21.


Because samples for testing are sent via couriers and not regular mail due to federal regulations, location and flow of product may become an area of future analysis. This map below shows the processors and the labs, as they are the two entities primarily involved in the testing process.

Testing Requirements

Additional for Concentrate or Extract made with hydrocarbons:

  • Residual Solvent

Required tests for most products:

  • Moisture content
  • Potency analysis
  • Foreign matter inspection (not all)
  • Microbiological screening

Volume of Testing & Types

So far 1,564,463 tests have been conducted on 126,750 samples at 18 different laboratories.

The test types are: Foreign Matter, Microbio Screening (Yeast & Mold, Bile Tolerant Gram Negative Bacteria, Coliforms, Aerobic Bacteria, and E.coli & Salmonella), Residual Solvent, Moisture Content, Potency.