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Culture » Smoke Signals

Regulating the Testers

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In order for medical cannabis products to make it to the shelves in dispensaries, they must first be tested. Cannabis dispensaries are required to meet certain standards, which include screening products for harmful molds and pesticides and testing for levels of potency, all of which are analyzed by a lab.

Rick Ezrine, co-owner and co-founder of CannAlytical Research, explains that in order to find these levels, the labs receive calibration standards for each compound that needs to be measured.

Currently there are very few guidelines and regulations in place for these labs, and businesses such as CannAlytical Research are actually looking forward to the upcoming changes accompanying Measure 91 and House Bill 3460, which includes new guidelines for labs.

"Right now you do have labs trying to adhere to best practices, however not all labs are doing that," says CannAlytical co-owner and co-founder Carlos Cummings says. "Once those new laws are in place and there's some oversight, that's going to help level the playing field."

Part of what drives erroneous lab results, he explains, is that "the market is driven by this 'total THC' number, and it's widely known that dispensaries will pay more for higher THC numbers. That, unfortunately, puts a strain on not only the growers, but also the labs to have higher number. With the new laws and regulations on cannabis, he foresees a strengthening of the market as a lot of the unethical reporting comes to a halt.

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