By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection
August 31, 2016 – Finally, after months of waiting, Oregon has officially certified labs for testing cannabis. Pixis and Green Leaf Labs received the honors after a long and arduous application process. The two labs were approved earlieer this month for approval by ORELAP (Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission issued their licenses on August 26th.
As of August 5th, ORELAP had only 17 of the 34 applications which had been submitted pass their proficiency test, and only those that have passed have been scheduled for audits before October 1st. . That date is the legislature imposed deadline when all cannabis testing must be done by an ORELAP certified lab…no exceptions.
“We are so proud of being the first established cannabis testing lab in Oregon,” explained Rowshan Reordan, owner of Green Leaf Lab. “We are the oldest cannabis testing lab in Oregon and have proudly served our customers since 2011.”
“It’s an great accomplishment and I am super proud of our awesome team…from our chemists, to customer service, to sales,” She said. “Our goal is to provide quality and accurate testing, and excellent customer service.”
Green Leaf Labs has been a leader in testing and they have also repeatedly given advise to the legislature on a path forward. Reordan has testified repeatedly to committees in Salem, worked with numerous legislators, and was a key proponent of having ORELAP handle Oregon’s laboratory certifications. She understands their expertise, and was glad to get their approval.
“ORELAP is an extremely reputable organization, as they have the skills and expertise to assess quality systems as well as a laboratories technical capabilities,” Reordan explained. “When they came to assess our lab, we received great feedback. It was a positive experience having them affirm the quality of science that we produce. It was nice to hear that we are providing accurate and quality service to Oregon’s cannabis industry.”
Pixis labs was excited to be entering the market, finally.
“We are happy to be in the market,” said Derrick Tanner, General Manager of Pixis labs. “We entered the market because we felt there was an opportunity for an established laboratory that has been in the public health and safety realm for nearly 40 years to step in and accurate testing of, what is going to be, a very large commodity in the state of Oregon.”
They are a part of Tentamus, a worldwide testing group that has labs all across the world. They all specialize in the life sciences, including food and pharmaceuticals. Originally, Pixis started out as a soil testing lab, then evolved into water analysis and finally food testing in the last few years.
One interesting fact is that Pixis has not been involved in the industry…at all. Their early certification is an indication that a labs previous experience with cannabis is not a determining factor in approval. Their broad experience and previous ORELAP certification enabled them to get early approval.
“The methodologies and instrumentation we use to analyze cannabis we have been using on other commodities for years,” Tanner explained. “And, we perform pesticide analysis in similar commodities, like hops, so it wasn’t a stretch to add this commodity to tests we’ve already been doing for years.”
One concern of labs has been the price point of the testing services for years, which have been offered at a unsustainable low level. Tanner of Pixis agrees, and thinks cannabis labs that are certified will have to charge a rate more in line with the fee they charge on Hops testing, which runs in the mid $300 dollar range for a pesticide screen of 400 different pesticides. Pixis intentionally waited to enter the fray, instead waiting until regulations were established and a sustainable fee could be charged for a proper test.
“We’re not going to compete with the $100 dollar analysis labs,” Tanner told OCC. “But, if someone really wants to know whats in their commodity, they want accurate results, and they want legally defensible results, then they should come to us.”
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