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Quality Control and Testing

Curaleaf’s mission is to improve lives by providing clarity around cannabis and confidence around consumption, and we are driven by our ten-year history of serving medical patients. Our commitment to our customers inspires us to not only meet but exceed regulated guidelines in the medical and adult-use markets where we operate.

Curleaf’s Approach to Plant Cultivation and Processing

Cannabis is a highly regulated plant by industry standards, required to undergo rigorous testing. Cultivation and processing regulations are set by state regulators and can vary state to state.

The cultivation of cannabis requires a license and each of our grow facilities undergoes a rigorous approval process. At Curaleaf, all cannabis grows are tracked from seeds or plants that are sourced from a licensed nursery, monitored heavily during cultivation and sent to a third-party for certification after harvesting. Cannabis samples are tested for a wide range of toxins, molds and microbials, including, but not limited to, Salmonella, yeast and mold, butanes, ethanol and metals. Samples that do not meet requirements are not permitted to enter into the supply chain.

Once the samples are approved by the third party testing laboratory, a Certificate of Analysis (COA) is issued. The COA indicates how the cannabis was grown and contains a full report on the cannabinoid and terpene profile, along with results of the pathogen or microbial testing. COAs are available to consumers on any Curaleaf product through our website. Samples that do not meet requirements are not permitted to enter into the supply chain.

Curaleaf Processing Standards

At Curaleaf, we follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and Good Documentation Practices (GDP). As part of our GMP system, Curaleaf has specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all processes and formulations in manufacturing and packaging. All procedures are written by high-level subject matter experts and are reviewed by peers prior to approval and implementation. Training on SOPs and batch records are performed personally by management and re-enforced by video and web training tools for new processes. Curaleaf employs a continuous improvement program and we are constantly evolving our manufacturing and testing practices through controlled changes to ensure product quality, accuracy and safety.

State Cannabis Regulations

While many states follow a similar framework, specific regulations and rules can vary from one state to the next. Exact rules on how cultivation facilities are built and maintained can differ, as can rules on inspections. Regulations can cover nearly every aspect of a grow facility, from location to energy usage. Testing protocals also differ by state. As an agricultural product, cannabis is susceptible to the same contaminants as other farm-grown food and for that reason, Curaleaf ensures the necessary approvals and certifications are achieved throughout its supply chain. Curaleaf is committed to bringing the safest and highest-quality cannabis to consumers and therefore holds its cannabis testing incredibly high standards; Curaleaf’s testing standards often exceed the state required consumer safety testing standards.

Curaleaf cultivation aims to stay ahead of the regulatory curve by adapting and using best practices, new technologies and innovations to our advantage, while focusing on continuous improvement at every step of the way. We follow cannabis specific Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and Good Handling Practices (GHPs) across all aspects of the cultivation process. These practices are critical for addressing quality proactively for each step of the cultivation process, including: materials, premises, equipment, storage, record keeping, staff training, hygiene, product development, complaint handling and more.

Testing and Inspection Processes

Testing is an essential step to ensure product quality, accuracy, and safety for consumers. Testing is done for potency profiles, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, and for safety screens, such as pesticides, heavy metals, microbiological contaminants, mycotoxins etc. Curaleaf ensures homogeneity of the batch prior to final testing which is performed by third party laboratories. All third party laboratories used by Curaleaf are vetted and qualified to perform critical pesticide and potency tests, including clear labeling for customers and patients to read.

Curaleaf conducts internal checks throughout our cultivation and processing facilities to monitor product quality and potency from beginning to end. We perform batch homogenization and in-process product sampling for testing at every stage of production. Raw materials and components are inspected and tested prior to use and at different stages of production to ensure it meets or exceeds state-established Quality Standards.

In our cultivation, there are many inspections performed throughout every grow cycle to ensure our facilities are meeting or exceeding our established quality and regulatory standards. Some inspections, such as crop observations and room checks, are completed multiple times daily and this data is recorded and stored for future cultivation decision making. These inspections can include checking room environmental conditions, observing plant health for issues and electrical conductivity levels.

Curaleaf Quality Control Procedures

Quality control is built into each step of the cannabis cultivation process. Key quality control procedures are overseen locally at each cultivation facility and directed by the leadership and guidance of the corporate oversight team. We have organized our state reporting structure to ensure analytical chemists are part of the National Quality Control team which meets routinely to ensure our QC testing and lab quality procedures are always current and reflect current Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs). Planning, preventative protocols, routine inspections, and recordkeeping are all in place, ensuring quality products are consistently produced.

Curaleaf Pesticide and Chemical Policy

Our main objective is to provide clean and pure medical grade cannabis that patients can consume with confidence. We test our products to the highest standards for potency and pesticides in every state we operate, often testing beyond what is required by the state.

We mitigate pest disease by performing the highest standards of plant maintenance and pruning, and we release beneficial predatory insects to help prevent pest populations from becoming established or growing. If required, any pesticide used is approved by state regulatory agencies and thoroughly vetted and tested, to ensure it is safe for human health and the environment.

In our manufacturing facilities, the only chemicals that come in contact with our product at any time are food grade CO2 and Ethanol, both sourced from vetted producers. Curaleaf tests all finished products for residual Ethanol to ensure the product is safe prior to release of the batch.

Curaleaf Cultivation and Manufacturing Training Processes

To ensure that safe and quality products are produced, cultivation and manufacturing employees must be trained on and follow a strict set of safety and preventative protocols. The training is provided by Curaleaf subject matter experts and outside vendors that specialize in the area in which employees are being trained.

Initial training is provided during the onboarding process, with continuing education and training periodically provided as processes are updated to ensure all employees have the most current information needed to effectively perform their job duties.

While there are no specific industry standard qualifications, we focus on hiring manufacturing and cultivation team members who have experience in industries with similarly rigorous compliance standards. The Director of Cultivation in each state is responsible for setting cultivation standards that are to be uniformly adhered to throughout all Curaleaf cultivation operations to deliver quality, innovative cannabis products for medical and adult-use cannabis consumers. The Head Grower role at Curaleaf manages a large-scale cultivation facility, and their primary responsibilities are to manage and optimize all the tasks in the grow.

The information here is up to date as of May 2020. The regulation of the cannabis industry changes frequently. Therefore, please refer to federal and state government websites for more information about the current state of cannabis regulation in your area.