Hemp Lab Certification FAQs


Q - Does a lab need a physical location to apply for certification?

A - Yes, a physical location is required on the application for certification and an on-site inspection and audit is required prior to granting certification.


Q - What does it cost?

A - Laboratory certification costs $200 per agricultural service.  The best way to think of this is $200 per test method/matrix.  For example, testing hemp for THC and THCa would be one certification.  Testing hemp for pesticide residue would be another certification.


Q - What test method can be used by laboratories certified by the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) for measuring THC in hemp?  

A - Certified labs will be required to use the official method of the State Agricultural Laboratory.  The method will include drying, sample preparation, extraction and instrumental analysis steps.  


Q - My lab is ISO 17025 accredited.  Does that have any effect on AZDA lab certification?

A - No, ISO accreditation of any type has no bearing on AZDA laboratory certification.


Q - Where do I find the application form?

A - The Laboratory Certification Application can be found on our Laboratory Certification page.


Q - Once an application is submitted, what can I expect?

A - Upon receiving an application, the State Agricultural Laboratory will conduct an administrative completeness review.  After completing this initial review, a substantive review will be conducted.  This review will include an on-site survey and will be focused on the requirements listed in Arizona Administrative Code (AAC) R3-5-105.  For more detailed information regarding licensing time-frames, please see AAC R3-5-112.


Q - Do I have to participate in a proficiency program?

A - Yes.  For all new applicants seeking certification, an initial proficiency sample set will be provided by the State Agricultural Laboratory.  Thereafter, the applicant must participate in a check sample testing proficiency test program designated by the State Agricultural Laboratory and provide a copy of their proficiency results to the State Agricultural Laboratory.  The certified laboratory bears the cost of all proficiency testing. 


Q - How do I prepare for state certification?

A - Prior to requesting certification from the State Agricultural Laboratory, please review our Laboratory Certification Preparation Checklist to ascertain your laboratory's readiness.  In addition, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the laboratory requirements listed under AAC R3-5-105.


Q - Which cannabinoids will be reportable?

A - The State Agricultural Laboratory will be certifying laboratories to analyze for Total THC (to include both THC and THCa separately) using a High Pressure Liquid Chromatography Method. 


Q - Can out of state laboratories seek certification?

A - At this time, only laboratories that will conduct the certified analysis at a designated location within Arizona can be certified.

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