What Could California Learn from Michigan’s Cannabis Lab Standards?

Decemeber 18, 2020
 
This summer, the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL) sent a letter to the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) highlighting a concerning trend of compromises and poorer testing standards within the state cannabis testing sector. This practice of “lab shopping” threatened the integrity of the industry, said the ACIL. But there were solutions, according to the lab group.

One lab analyst well placed to see how regulations could be done differently is Josh Swider, founder and CEO of Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs.

After a successful few years testing cannabis out of San Diego, Swider and his business partner decided to open a second location in Jackson, Michigan. The move has given the lab operators a new perspective on California’s situation, and they believe that adopting some aspects of Michigan’s approach could greatly benefit the Golden State’s market.

To learn more about these interstate differences and what Michigan’s approach could offer, Analytical Cannabis caught up with Swider to talk all things testing.


Talking reform with Infinite CAL

“One thing that’s great in Michigan is the labs,” Swider tells Analytical Cannabis. “There’s only 11 out there right now compared to 34 in California, but once a month we have a phone call with the various people high up that can make changes, and actually get the ball rolling.”

“[Regulators] believe we’re the people on the ground that should probably have the best opinion, because we are the scientists. I feel like we’re treated out there [in Michigan] with a lot more respect for what we do.”

Whether it be due to the smaller number of labs or just having a different regulatory process, Swider says that the regulators in Michigan have also been quicker to make changes based on the opinions of the scientific testing staff.

“For example, in Michigan last week I talked about how I think it’d be very important to have a training session quarterly that every lab jumps on, where they go over problems that they’re seeing or to clarify some regulations and things like that, a simple thing,” Swider says.

“Within one week they set up a meeting[…] to start going over the rules and make sure everything’s fine – clarifying things. So, to see Michigan within one week make a change based upon a suggestion that they thought was a good idea, it’s amazing. And that’s what I’d love to see California do.”

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