A laboratory information management system (LIMS) is a software-based platform designed to help support a laboratory’s operations and identify any areas needing attention. Essentially, these systems help researchers and technicians automate workflows and pinpoint areas they may otherwise have missed. Cannabis labs are implementing them as a result.
One of the trademarks of a quality cannabis product is comprehensive third-party lab testing results. Consumers should be able to make informed and confident purchasing decisions when buying cannabis, and an accompanying third-party lab report can provide them with that.
LIMS platforms are configured to offer scientists quick and accurate results along with detailed certificates of analysis (COA) that provide information such as the presence of heavy metals, pesticides, foreign materials, contaminants, and residual solvents. These reports also provide details about the potency of cannabinoids and terpenes while defining the particular cultivar/chemovar.
Labs that employ LIMS platforms also have the advantage of generating detailed reports and ensuring regulatory compliance, such as ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 9001:2015 compliance. The systems may also be configured to adapt to any new compliance mandates that arise, either by the lab managers themselves or with the help of the system developers.
There is also the option to build out a specific lab LIMS further as required to more closely fit the laboratory’s testing facility. Further, certain data can be generated that allow for more cost-effective lab operations, which is especially important in the current competitive cannabis testing market.
LIMS platforms aren’t just for 3rd-party testing labs. Cannabis operations such as a grower or processor generate plenty of data and many businesses add in-house analytical tools to ultimately save costs on intermediate product testing, once they’ve returned on their investment.
Implementing these platforms is easy and does not require laboratory researchers to spend much time getting to know how they work. The cannabis testing methodologies that are used by labs, whether in-house by a grower or processor or at 3rd party testing labs, are understood by the developers of LIMS software platforms, so there’s no steep learning curve involved and no need to rewrite any code. Instead, lab managers can have these systems up and running right away. Labs own their data and are free to use it as they require.
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