ACS Laboratory Introduces Spanish Certificates of Analysis (COAs) to Educate More Cannabis Consumers
In this post:
- What is a COA
- Why cannabis brands need Spanish-language COAs
- ACS's Spanish COA
- How to read a COA
- Requesting a Spanish COA
Hispanic Americans make up more than 50% of the US population growth today, at 62.1 million people. One-half reside in California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, but the Hispanic population is growing rapidly in other states as well. This includes North Dakota, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New York, where Hispanic residents' growth is six times the general population's rate. We could go on about how vital Spanish speaker Americans are essential to the country and the economy at large, but you get the picture. Now, let’s talk cannabis.
In 2020 20% of young Hispanic adults and nearly 10% of those 26 and older said they were daily cannabis users. Yet this group is historically underrepresented in the industry and disproportionately affected by cultural stigmas against the plant. Fortunately, advocacy organizations like the National Hispanic Cannabis Council, Canna Familia, and Latino Cannabis Association are fighting to ensure access through legal guidance, networking events, and education opportunities.
At ACS, we believe education is critical to ensure equitable access for all Hispanic and Latin American adults. As a result, we recently launched Spanish language COAs for all hemp and cannabis clients and products nationwide.
What is a Certificate of Analysis (COA)
A Certificate of Analysis is a document that verifies cannabis’ safety and potency profile–as reported by the third-party laboratory that tested the plant or product. COAs identify the following:
- laboratory name
- cannabis brand name
- product description and batch number
- potency of core compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes.
Additionally, comprehensive COAs should incorporate safety information, including pesticides and heavy metals analysis results.
Reputable brands will publish COAs by linking the documents to QR codes, which they print on the product label or website. This provides a level of transparency consumers can trust.
Why Cannabis Brands Need to Publish Spanish Language COAs
Responsible hemp and cannabis companies are already publishing English COAs to help educate American consumers, promote confidence in the industry, and signify their support for high-quality standards. COAs allow consumers to know exactly which compounds the product contains and how potent these compounds are. This knowledge enables people to accurately classify cannabis by its primary cannabinoids and terpenes, known as its “chemovar.”
By understanding which terpenes and cannabinoids dominate the plant or product, consumers can choose the type that matches their goals and desired effects. For example, consumers looking for mild psychoactive properties and energizing effects may look for a chemovar with high limonene content and a balance between CBD and THC concentration. With access to this information on COAs, consumers are empowered to make the right decisions for themselves.
Hispanic and Latin American cannabis consumers, like all people, want to make informed choices about what they put in their bodies. So providing this diverse group with Spanish language COAs is an essential step in fostering that autonomy for all Americans.
ACS Laboratory’s Spanish COA Launch
“At ACS, we are committed to raising the bar on hemp and cannabis quality and elevating consumer trust in the industry. Implementing Spanish language COAs was one meaningful step in that direction, and we’re proud to be one of the nation’s leading laboratories offering this benefit to brands.
“With Spanish COAs, hemp and cannabis companies can educate a broader audience from the country’s second-largest ethnic group. We hope every ACS client will take advantage of these COAs on product packaging and marketing materials.” – said Roger Brown, ACS President, and Founder.
Reading a COA
Interpreting a COA (in any language) can seem challenging, so we broke it down into detailed steps in an ACS blog, “How to Read a COA.”
In short, Spanish language COAs follow the same format as their English language counterparts. The COA’s header will feature contact and batching details, including the testing laboratory name, the brand's name, the product description, report date, and QR code.
Following the header is a general results summary. This section doesn’t quantify compound concentration, but it tells the reader whether the product was tested for potency and terpenes. It also indicates whether the product passed safety tests, including heavy metals, pesticides, residual solvents, microbiology, moisture levels, and mycotoxins analysis.
After the results summary, consumers can find the chemovar summary, including a detailed breakdown of cannabinoids and terpenes content and concentration. This information delivers critical information about how the product may taste, smell, look, and act on the mind and body.
Finally, the COA will break down every safety test result, including the action level and quantity of every harmful analyte (compound) we review. The Action level indicates the safe allowable limits for each compound, and the quantity confirms that the product tested below that limit.
How Hemp and Cannabis Brands Can Request Spanish COAs
All ACS clients and prospective partners can immediately access Spanish COAs for all products they test with us through our Mahi customer portal. Here’s how it works:
- Every COA will come with a Spanish version, indicated by “ES” in the document name.
- To access the ES version, clients can simply download the document onto their local drive, in the same process as English language COA.
- Once downloaded, brands can make the COA available to patients and customers by printing the QR codes on their packaging and publishing the document on their websites.
The Bottom Line
At ACS, we are thrilled to celebrate consumer diversity, autonomy, and education. In the process, we’re delighted to help our clients differentiate themselves from the competitive landscape and reach a larger audience with critical information.
If you’re a hemp or cannabis brand that wants to learn more about testing with us, please book a strategy call today. We’d love to discuss our award-winning testing program and how our COAs can benefit your business.