Cannabis testing labs are popping up all over the world, and apparently, that growth will continue.
A global report from Research and Markets entitled “Cannabis Testing Market – Global Forecast to 2021” shows the cannabis testing market reaching $1.4 billion. The legalization of medical and recreational cannabis pushes this market, which is why the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is a whopping 11.5% between 2016-2021.
There are two aspects to starting a cannabis lab. As with all things it is a balance between good and bad. First off, we need more research. With more labs testing and understanding the compounds of the plant we will hopefully gain more traction with global legalization. Cannabis testing labs are often the first stage for a state to run a recreational program. The demand is high, but to run a good cannabis testing lab we need more than just a will to succeed.
A good testing lab is up to date on the most currently accepted methodologies, sample prep, and more. Setting up a lab takes an enormous lump sum as a startup cost. The analytical instruments that are necessary to find any additives or contaminants in the complicated matrixes of different cannabis strains are very expensive. However, even with this cost, the industry is slotted to expand at an exceptional rate.
Cannabis testing labs have not yet come to a collective agreement on the proper methods for testing cannabis, edibles, and/or extractions for contaminants or potency. Luckily there are organizations like the ACCL and ISO Accreditation. These organizations offer an assurance for patrons that a laboratory is paying attention to their own practiced methods and the current state of the industry.
Let’s hope that as the cannabis testing lab industry grows it will not become less reliable. This is only possible if the scientific community can band together and share what they’re finding out in their own labs with each other.