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Highlights: This analysis report was prepared by Josh Wurzer, President and Co-Founder of SC Laboratories, Inc. The report addresses a number of laboratory tests conducted on rolling papers purchased online and from various retailers throughout Santa Cruz, California. The rolling papers were tested for heavy metals and pesticides.


A cluster of over-limit detections of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in pre-roll samples submitted to SC Labs for regulatory compliance testing were traced to contamination in the rolling paper. In response, SC Labs tested several samples of rolling papers, cones, and wraps to gauge the levels of potential contaminants in these types of products.

The laboratory purchased 118 products from Amazon and several smoke shops in the Santa Cruz area, 101 of which were tested for heavy metals and 112 of which were tested for pesticide contamination. At least one heavy metal was detected in 90% of the rolling paper products with 8% containing at least one heavy metal in concentrations above the allowable limits in California for inhalable cannabis products. Lead was the most commonly detected metal by a considerable margin. Pesticides were detected in 16% of the samples with 5% coming in over the allowable action limits.

While 11% of the rolling papers in this study would fail above the action limits for inhalable products in California, it should be noted that the paper constitutes only a fraction of the overall mass of a cannabis pre roll product. Although the ratio of the mass of paper to cannabis flower varies within pre-roll products depending on a number of factors, it is safe to assume that rolling paper products that fail near the action limit would most likely not cause a compliance failure when combined with “clean” cannabis. Of the 18 over-limit failures, 10 could be considered near the action limit and 8 could be considered well over the action limit (defined as greater than two times the action limit).