Humans make mistakes and all labs use humans at various points in the testing process. We recognize this and have taken numerous steps to minimize human error wherever possible and to detect it with objective Quality Assurance procedures. However, mistakes still happen. In fairness to our customers, we will, on request, perform a retest of a sample the customer believes is in error. If Steep Hill made an error, then the retest is free of charge. If retest results come back substantially similar to the original test results, then we must charge the customer for the retest. We appreciate your understanding that we cannot honor retest requests without an agreement from the customer that, if Steep Hill's original results are confirmed, the customer will pay for the additional testing. Thanks in advance for your understanding.
What is "substantially similar?
Results are within scientific error. Typically 5% or less.
Since cannabis and derived products originate as living biological organisms, there is naturally significant variation present in most samples. For example, two buds from the same plant can vary significantly - by 20% or more, especially for plants grown indoors. Even some concentrates exhibit significant heterogeneity, such that two small samplings of a large batch may end up being significantly different. Thus, a re-submission of a sample for retest could vary significantly from the original, even if no mistakes were made. Thus, retests are only possible if enough sample remains after the first test to allow use of the very same sample submission for the retest. If not enough sample remains, a new test must be ordered and paid for by the customer.
Volatile analytes, such as residual solvents, terpenes, and moisture, can change substantially just by opening and closing the container. Thus, "substantially similar" results for these analytes will be within a factor of two, comparing the original and retested material (a ratio of between 0.5 to 2.0).
Acid cannabinoids degrade significantly with time. Thus, "substantially similar" results for acid cannabinoids will mean that original and retest results are within 25% -(i.e. ratio of original acid result to retest acid result must be within 0.75 to 1.25).
Neutral cannabinoids are not volatile and are generally stable (except in acidic samples), but some variation is expected due to the processes involved in sampling, transfer, dilution, filtering, and analysis, so "substantially similar" results for neutral cannabinoids should be within 10% (ratio between 0.9 and 1.1).
Errors in cannabinoid or terpene analytes that appear in amounts less than 2% by weight do not qualify for free retests.
If a customer desires a "high precision" analysis (e.g., a hemp product that must be confirmed to contain <0.3% THC by weight, etc.), such analyses typically require multiple runs and more care, so these can be ordered upon submission by submitting two or more samples from the same batch to allow statistical evaluation of the mean and variance for the test results. A Steep Hill statistics expert will consult with the customer prior to submission.