phytalab

U.S.: Marijuana Lab Test Results Controversy Discussed

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The latest episode in a series of ongoing podcast interviews offered by Ganjapreneur, a cannabis business website and online resource, explores the cannabis testing world with Dr. Michelle Sexton, founder of Phytalab.

Dr. Sexton is a naturopathic doctor, an editor and advisor on the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Cannabis Monograph, and was a consultant in the development of Washington's recreational cannabis market.

With legalization continuing to spread, regulators are beginning to take a serious look at cannabis science and the ways it can benefit the distribution of safe, quality products. One of the more common regulatory demands — that all products be tested for potency, contaminants and other criteria by a state-certified laboratory — is a uniquely difficult scientific process in today's world. In fact, many dispensary owners and other cannabis retailers have complained that when submitting samples from the same plant to different testing facilities, they frequently receive varying results.

During the interview, Dr. Sexton establishes that "there's a difference between certification and proficiency. That's the bottom line." Essentially, the people setting the regulations for cannabis testing aren't actually scientists, and there is a disconnect between the way things have wound up and the way things should have been done.

Washington: Cannabis Testing Lab Founder Dr. Michelle Sexton Interviewed

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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.

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