by David Downs
Last month, we reported that none of the so-called medical cannabis laboratories testing local supplies for potency and safety have passed an independent, third-party audit — which is necessary to prove lab validity in the real lab world. To that end, several mainstream scientists had formed the Alliance for Cannabis Science, based in Montana, to voluntarily provide such audits. Now, the Alliance has a peer. On March 1, two Oakland labs, Steep Hill and CW Analytical, said they were forming the Association of California Cannabis Laboratories in Oakland “to address the growing need for standardization in the cannabis quality assurance industry.” The two labs met to with representatives from a third lab, Pure Analytics, “to discuss policies and technologies in the evolving industry.”
“The more we standardize our protocols the more we truly serve our industry and the patient community," said Dr. Robert Martin, co-founder of CW Analytical.
“The mission of the organization is to promote sensible and consistent testing methodology between the labs, and to act!” the group said in a release. The group will provide a forum for inter-lab communication and conflict resolution.
David Lampach, co-founder of Steep Hill and amateur chemist, said: “We are honored and excited to sit down with our colleagues in a spirit of cooperation to encourage the betterment of our industry as a whole.”
Still, all unaudited lab data is suspect, said Debby Goldsberry, head of Berkeley Patients Group, at a NORML conference. “Anybody can open their doors and say, 'We test cannabis.' What does that even mean?”
“There is no real lab out there that's doing good testing,” said Berkeley Patients Group spokesman Brad Senesac. “There's no standards. I just don't think we have good labs out there yet.”