Disclaimer Note: The content in this guide is just for informational purposes ONLY. We ARE NOT licensed, certified, or a party/entity to provide any of the legal components needed to be in place for cannabis laboratories. Please refer to your state’s current policies and procedures in place to properly to start a cannabis lab.
As lab builders, we are experts when it comes to creating efficient layouts and custom furniture for demanding research and testing environments.
As the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana spreads across the country, the cannabis industry continues to grow as a result. It is projected that marijuana sales will reach and exceed $20 billion by 2023.
Marijuana use is becoming more and more acceptable in the eyes of the general population across the country, making now the opportune time to enter into the industry. Whether you are looking to stake your claim in this expanding business, have a strong desire to create better medicine alternatives for those in need, or are interested in creating new and interesting strains of cannabis, a top-notch cannabis lab will be crucial to achieving your goals.
Building a cannabis lab from the ground up is not something that can be accomplished overnight. There are many aspects you will need to consider before getting started.
Some of these details include following various legal regulations and standards, recruiting talented professionals to work in your lab, and even finding a credible cannabis lab bench dealer to help you equip your lab.
It is absolutely essential to do your research in order to fully understand everything required before you begin designing your lab. Having an airtight plan in place will allow you to move forward with confidence and create a successful and high-quality cannabis lab of your own.
The legalities of starting a cannabis lab can vary greatly from state to state. Because the use of medical and recreational marijuana is not yet legal everywhere in the United States, there is currently a lack of comprehensive federal standards in place.
Instead, the regulatory requirements and accreditation you will need to understand and abide by are determined by the state your lab resides in. You will find that some states have many more regulations to adhere to than others.
Local regulations might also be in play depending on your location. Here are just a few possible requirements you may need to meet:
The cannabis industry will grow and evolve, causing the regulations and standards to change frequently. Be sure to stay up to date on possible changes or updates happening in your location.
For more information, please refer to the Guidance for State Medical Cannabis Testing Programs.
Finding passionate and qualified candidates can be challenging, regardless of the type of field you are hiring within. This is especially true when requiring personnel with specific scientific knowledge.
Below are a few tips for recruiting talented professionals to work in your cannabis lab:
For more tips and guidelines, check out this informative podcast episode where host Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier from Marijuana Business Daily dives into challenging aspects of recruitment in the cannabis industry.
Here are some examples of how different steps in the supply chain utilize in-house cannabis labs:
Residual solvents are a class or processing chemicals typically used for extraction and post-processing (oils/concentrates), for example, USP 467 is typically followed as a compliant testing procedure- where solvents are in Classes 1-3. Where Class 1 is the most toxic based on PDE-permissible daily exposure, no one wants benzene or toluene in their smokable products!
Pesticides are separate contaminants typically used to fend off pests, inhibit disease, etc. Most states have a variable list and set cutoff limits.
Pesticides can be taken up by the plant (soil, water). Before clones or seeds are put in the ground, particularly for outdoor grow operations, the soil, water, and surrounding area need to be assessed for pesticides, and mitigation action should be taken if tests come up positive.
California has a list of 66 pesticides at extremely low action limits. Canada has a list of 96 pesticides. Other states like CO have 17.
Pesticide requirements vary all over the map. California adopted much of the limits on chemicals from the tobacco industry. It sets unreasonable expectations on labs and is why equipment has to be the latest and greatest – buying used gear doesn’t work in this market.
Fungus and testing mold: Microbial testing usually consists of four species of Aspergillus mold, E Coli, and Salmonella. Again, knowing the species of mold is critical here. This is why qPCR methods over plating is the way to go.
The cannabis industry relies on state-of-the-art equipment capable of handling the complex, unique science of marijuana testing. Here are the most common instruments you’ll see in modern cannabis testing centers:
After diving into all the legal requirements and building regulations that are associated with starting a cannabis lab, you will start to realize you can’t set up just anywhere. It is important to furnish your lab space with the proper instruments and equipment necessary to comply with state laws and environmental regulations, as well as provide a safe environment for your employees.
You will want to consider the following essential areas as you start designing your lab:
Because Cannabis is also such a new industry, traditional lab designs may not fit the needs of your testing lab. It’s important to find a reputable cannabis lab furniture dealer that will meet all of your needs and go above and beyond to ensure you are set up for success.
For more than a decade, we are the leading custom lab furniture supplier and manufacturer of industrial workbenches in the country. We don’t believe in the one-size-fits-all model, and we value the relationship we build with each and every client.