For The Cannabis Community. By The Cannabis Community.

Welcome to the ACCL website!

Message from Executive Director, Dr. Robert Martin

Welcome to the Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratory website! We are a group of independent lab operators that have come together to address the lack of standards and practices in the medical and recreational marijuana industry evolving in North America today. Our ACCL members are dedicated to achieving the highest standards for quality assurance testing protocols. All of our members must adhere to strict guidelines for scientific acumen and legal responsibility.

Profitability in the Cannabis Laboratory Industry

Robert W. Martin, Ph. D.
Executive Director,
Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories, Inc.

OAKLAND, May 2016: There exists a great misconception about Cannabis testing laboratories in North America. That misconception rests in the common belief that laboratories working on Cannabis products are wildly profitable. Nothing could be farther from reality. Most ACCL labs began with personal monies or private investors, both sources providing courageous support at a time when there was no QA available in an industry in need. The expensive and delicate analytical equipment to operate and maintain, the professional competitive salaries we must offer, and the cost of supplies and standards that increase with sample number makes profitability a fleeting concept to most laboratory operators. Many of our instruments cost over $100K and some as much as $500K. The cost of operating a laboratory doesn’t stop there. Insurance, equipment standardizations and upgrades, ISO certification protocols all add to the expenses of a laboratory and are ongoing. Further, laboratory operations require highly trained professionals from chemistry, microbiological and biochemistry backgrounds holding advanced collegiate degrees that are expensive to recruit and sustain. In fact, salaries are the single costliest ongoing expense within a laboratory.

Cannabis laboratory operators must navigate all these financial challenges without any banking support, as banks are forbidden in assisting our industry in any way, form, or fashion. Simple protocols like checking and lines of credit do not exist for laboratory owner/operators. As a result, laboratories are forced to handle large amounts of cash. In our electronic world a cash business is both cumbersome for accounts payable and dangerous for personal safety. Landlords are no better as rents are often inflated for blatant profiteering of our emerging industry. Many landlords charge 5-10 times the normal rent for a Cannabis industry related tenant.

Unfortunately, the undue financial stress of laboratory operation doesn’t end there. Several municipalities are preparing to adjust new fee schedules to begin draining tax dollars from laboratories at a record pace. City, county, and state organizations are all planning to create new tax schedules for the Cannabis laboratories. The industry simply cannot support large tax burdens from multiple municipalities. Our margin of profitability is just too thin and fragile to sustain these economic hardships.

The ACCL calls for logic and reason to prevail of our evolving industry by reducing our tax requirements in order to operate these much needed quality assurance companies. Our laboratories have lived through many years of these hardships and hope that our voice will be heard and recognized as professional and responsible now and in the years to come. Allow laboratories to apply for special permits that allow compliance at affordable and reasonable tax rates. The ultimate safety of patients depends on it.

About Us

Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories

To view and download the official ACCL Inc. ByLaws please click here.
ACCL supports scientific acumen and legal responsibility, therefore, our members follow strict guidelines:
No "Dry-Labbing"
ACCL members agree not to ship samples except for those in jurisdictions where Federal statues allow such activities to legally take place.
Member Labs does not report sample test values without actually performing a sample analysis - no “dry-labbing” is performed.
Member Labs have on-staff at least one individual that has at least one peer-reviewed publication in a well-accepted scientific publication, or patent, or equivalent that demonstrates an adequate level of scientific acumen, which is hereby attached for review.
Member Labs agree to submit to random “ring-testing” or similar experiments in order to probe the integrity of sample results and general laboratory operations ACCL Membership Statement.
and professional features including:
Members of the ACCL agree to always conduct themselves in a professional manner that continually seeks to raise the integrity of the medical cannabis testing industry and advance solid scientific fundamentals and understandings of cannabis for the general public.
ACCL Meetings and operations are confidential and focused on the QA/QC of medical cannabis and is in no manner directed towards lending to the intoxication of individuals through the use of cannabis products.*
Member Labs do hereby understand that initial membership in the ACCL is on a probationary period until a suitable “ring-test” or ACCL comparable sample test can be conducted satisfactorily to all existing ACCL members.
Member Lab does also further understand that membership in the ACCL may be terminated in writing immediately upon violation of any of the aforementioned membership requirements.
Many of our members are in different stages of ISO certification and ACCL strongly recommends that all membership consider this method of accreditation. I hope the following pages are informative for both laboratory operators and patients/users alike and please use your local ACCL laboratory; they are your best resource in navigating this sometimes complicated industry. Look for the ACCL logo!

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*All discussions, operations, votes, information, and communications both electronically and orally, are to be confidential, held reasonably in confidence and protected similarly to any such other confidential material as a typical work product or invention disclosure would be held, until the ACCL decides to publically release such information via formal communication that is approved by a majority vote of its members.


The Cannabis Community

ACCL invitation

SAN DIEGO, February 2017: A reception, sponsored by AB Sciex and Emerald Scientific, is being held at the Emerald Conference in San Diego (Hyatt Ballroom) from 6:00pm - 9:00pm Thursday, February 2nd.
We hope to see all our member labs and friends there!

ACCL Announces Pesticide Warning for Cannabis in North America

OAKLAND, December 2016: The Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories, Inc. (ACCL) released a statement today offering information on the continuing concern of pesticide contamination on Cannabis. ACCL members in several states have detected high levels of various cultivating agents which are being used to combat numerous types of fungal and insect based assaults during cultivation. As member laboratories continue to advance their technical sophistications using state-of- the art mass spectrometry based approaches we have broadened the ability to detect more of these cultivating agents and have come to understand that this problem is larger and more complex than anyone initially suspected. While challenging to detail an accurate picture in the face of complex and continuously evolving laws and regulations around cannabis cultivation practices, collectively our most recent assessment of the prevalence of pesticides and fungicides shows that around 50% or more of the commercially available flowers and concentrates may contain concerning levels of these types of harmful chemical residues. “It is the most important quality issue regarding medical and adult use Cannabis today,” says Dr. Robert Martin, ACCL Executive Director. “Pesticide residues are not known to breakdown by heat of process or by biodegradation and remain toxic in the plant or soil for lengthy periods of time.” [ ... ] READ MORE HERE

ACCL Expands Membership to Include Medical Marijuana Testing Laboratories Throughout North America

Organization Changes Name from Association of California Cannabis Laboratories to Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories to Reflect Expanded Geographical Base of Membership

OAKLAND, November 2013: The ACCL today announced that the organization has expanded its membership beyond California to include medical marijuana testing laboratories throughout North America. To reflect the wider geographical base of its membership, the organization has changed its name from the Association of California Cannabis Laboratories to the Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories.

Founded in 2011, the ACCL and its member organizations are dedicated to establishing medical marijuana best practices and certifications for quality standards. Since its inception, the ACCL has been at the forefront of the movement to develop mandatory testing protocols for medicinal marijuana products, and with the expansion of its membership base to include Cannabis testing laboratories throughout North American, the organization continues to serve as an example to the rest of the industry on how to work together effectively to bring greater legitimacy and credibility to the medical marijuana community.

New ACCL member organizations will be required to [ ... ] READ MORE HERE

Cannabis Laboratory Accreditation

The ACCL recommends ISO certifications and GLP for all its members in all states and countries.

OAKLAND, April 2015: In 2008 scientists in California began looking into the understanding of Cannabis potency. With those early efforts, the Cannabis testing industry came into being. Today there are several California Cannabis laboratories offering routine quality testing of a myriad of products along with over twenty other similar laboratories across America.

The early labs were primarily interested in potency testing and over time screenings for microbiological and pesticide residues were initiated. A great deal of research and trial and error was begun in an attempt to set guidelines and standards for our industry. Lab operators found very quickly that the basic research available about so many other medicinal plants was not available for Cannabis. The US government decision to place and maintain Cannabis as a Schedule I drug essentially shut down any and all potential research, including understanding quality measures. As a consequence, the lab industry itself sought to define the quality measures by the creation of [ ... ] READ MORE HERE

Quality Alerts

QA issues for the members

Submitted by Betsy Gribble, Sequoia Analytical Laboratory

SACRAMENTO, April 2016: Many dispensaries are vending their products with a number termed “Total THC”. This is a mis-marketed value which is meant to impart a larger representation rather than an accurate value. This is being done to imply greater potency and usually bumps the percentage numbers of flower into the attractive >20% range. Those who are not aware of the intricacies of THC often buy their medicine based solely on this number, believing this to be the only, or at least primary, indicator of quality. Those who more fully understand cannabis know that it isn’t the amount of THC which is most desired, but rather a particular whole-plant profile that is right for each individual patient or consumer seeking their preferred physiological response. All of the cannabinoids and terpenes present make [ ... ] READ MORE HERE


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Dr. Robert Martin, ACCL CEO

David Lampach, ACCL CFO

Jeffrey Raber, ACCL President

Jeff Hatley, ACCL Secretary