When recreational marijuana becomes legal in California in 2018, the state will require all products be tested by labs for potency and purity. But it turns out those test results aren't as scientifically accurate as once believed.

NBC News in the Bay Area revealed a major problem with fraud in marijuana testing labs in California. Several industry insiders say that cannabis companies routinely ask labs to inflate the amount of THC they say they find in their products, because high THC levels mean higher prices. And even companies that don't want to inflate are sometimes forced to because all their competitors are doing so.

And the labs themselves are also caught in a tough place as well. If a company asks them to inflate their numbers and they refuse, that company will just go to another lab willing to play ball. Soon all marijuana companies are avoiding the lab because they want the untrue numbers. The director of a marijuana testing lab that operates in multiple states says, “In almost every state we operate in we have someone approach us and say, ‘Hey, what would it take to get these numbers changed?'”

NBC conducted a study of labs in California by sending them the same samples of marijuana and testing for THC. They received results anywhere from 64 to 83 percent, clearly showing that some labs found much higher numbers than the average.

Experts say this THC inflation will almost certainly happen in California unless the state decides to enforce against it. In Washington state, the government increased oversight on labs and ended up suspending three operations until they improved their testing procedures.

Until then, Californians will have to hope that they're not paying an inflated price for a fraudulent THC test.

(h/t NBC Bay Area)