Washington: Cannabis Testing Lab Founder Dr. Michelle Sexton Interviewed
As marijuana legalization has spread to new states and regions, the regulatory framework of the industry has struggled to adapt. How to ensure product safety via scientific testing has been a popular debate, and some legal markets have mandated testing for cannabis producers and retailers.
Ganjapreneur, a cannabis industry publication focused on business news and culture, recently published an interview with Dr. Michelle Sexton of PhytaLab about her take on cannabis testing regulations.
Dr. Sexton founded PhytaLab in 2010, and she has also served as a consultant to the Washington State Liquor Control Board on the implementation of I-502, the state’s bill which led to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. She is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines, and the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, and she is also an avid surfer and rock climber.
In the interview, Sexton explains how the lack of federal recognition of legal cannabis markets has made scientific research very difficult. "Due to the federal status, crowd-sourced science has virtually replaced clinical research, being 'loosely' conducted without the usual controls or theoretical frameworks," Dr. Sexton said.
She also describes how the industry itself has reacted to the notion that products should be scientifically tested and verified. "I think that the cannabis community was really skeptical of analytical laboratory work in the beginning, particularly when the result did not come back as they would have hoped," she explained.
The interview also covers Dr. Sexton's personal career and how she came to be involved in the cannabis industry. "I became interested in the potency of cannabis when I was working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington," she said.
"I was learning to measure endogenous cannabinoids in human serum and studying the role of this system in neuroinflammation," Dr. Sexton said. "My research project hypothesized that cannabis was a potential 'supplement' to a deficient endocannabinoid system in patients with multiple sclerosis."
The full interview is available on Ganjapreneur's website.