Cannabis consumption has become increasingly appropriate in the minds of the general public throughout the United States, making these years an excellent moment to break into the industry.
If you endeavor to do that by opening a cannabis lab, then there are some things you need to know before doing so.
Cannabis labs have a very specific setup and the staff working in them need to complete specific training to be able to work there.
Keep reading below to learn everything you need to know about cannabis labs and their details!
Building Cannabis Labs
Establishing cannabis labs from scratch is not a task that can be dealt with quickly. Before you begin, you will have to take a few things into account.
First of all, you need to follow several legal requirements and rules, recruit skilled experts to work in the lab, and find a reputable cannabis lab bench distributor to help you prepare your lab.
It is critical to carry out research in order to completely understand everything needed before designing your lab.
Having a well-thought-out strategy will help you feel confident in moving on with your plan and establish your own productive and high-quality cannabis lab.
The facility’s size will be determined by the lab’s expected processing capacity, but an in-house lab could be anything between 500 to 2,000 sq ft, based on the procedures and equipment sought.
The size of a testing laboratory will be determined by the expected processing capacity, which is the number of samples tested each day.
The minimum requirement could be 2,500 sq ft, with a maximum size of 5,000 sq ft for a bigger project.
So, it all depends on how big or small your operation is and how much revenue you make to maintain a lab of any size.
Cannabis labs have a unique series of guidelines and equipment prerequisites. In contrast to other kinds of labs, though, there is no single baseline to direct those who develop and construct them.
Rules and regulatory requirements vary from one state to the other, and the requirements of every lab will vary depending on the project’s nature, that is if it is new construction or remodeling of an existing structure.
Therefore, every construction team and lab manager must carefully study the local rules and regulations and consult with already-established labs.
Problems occur not just within the United States, but also outside of North America. The possibility of obtaining certification-approved equipment is a major issue.
Some equipment in use in Europe can’t be utilized in the United States—some cannot be lawfully placed in the country, whereas others are only designed to work with European output power.
The cannabis sector is dependent on cutting-edge technology that can deal with the complicated, one-of-a-kind scientific method of cannabis testing.
The following are the most commonly used instruments used in today’s cannabis testing facilities:
- Gas Chromatography (GC): The GC is used to assess cannabinoid categorizations as well as THC effectiveness. It is also capable of detecting the appearance of leftover organic solvents.
- High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC): The HPLC plays a key role in drug levels assessments, taking measurements of levels of THC, THCA, CBD, CDBA, and CBN.
- Mass Spectrometry (MS): MS: Suitable for detecting any toxin such as pesticides and other substances frequently utilized in legalized marijuana trading activities.
Mechanisms And Infrastructure
Air circulation is a big issue for cannabis labs. Cannabis labs, like all labs, are energy sources, and ventilators required for a cannabis lab will be very different from those used in office spaces, lecture halls, and other such rooms.
It’s also critical for a cannabis testing facility to use techniques to isolate toxins and keep tests safe.
However, HVAC systems, just like power equipment, can be problematic because “instruments are likely to produce high temperatures, leading you to add more air conditions and spending more and more money.
Regulatory agencies are putting in place processes to impose and monitor cannabis lab tests and staff operations.
Lab product testing is an integral part of this supervision in order to ensure customer health and guarantee safety.
To assist with this supervision, state agencies use existing and accredited certification bodies and their lab accreditation programs
These accreditation programs can be customized to meet special regulatory requirements, but they all adhere to internationally recognized guidelines.
As a result, obtaining some of these accreditations and undergoing the relevant training and studies can help labs hire the right staff for their cannabis testing projects.
Alternatively, knowledge and experience on equipment used in the majority of cannabis labs can be obtained through the completion of a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, as well as with 1-2 years of experience in the field.
When considering candidates with relevant experience and degrees in Chemistry, a cannabis lab can proceed with further hands-on training of the staff members to make sure they are capable of performing the tests efficiently.
The lab manager can and should also test them on instrument theory and assess their knowledge of operating the equipment and running samples.
Furthermore, training on the cannabis testing process is required and so is that for standard issue diagnosing and repair.
Moreover, due to the number of individuals who join the controlled marijuana business with black market expertise, people involved in the hiring process must conduct thorough checks on every candidate to uncover felony drug charges, which preclude hiring under federal statute.
However, there are a few states that allow for the expungement of marijuana prosecutions.
Funnily, the same law that forbids hiring people with previous prosecutions is also applicable to hiring and dismissing staff based on positive drug tests
The Bottom Line
Cannabis labs are not the easiest of facilities to develop, design, and build. They require specific equipment, utilities, and spaces that you need to include and laws you need to adhere to.
The same applies to hiring staff, as you need people with prior experience and the right educational background for testing.