The first Montana lab to test medical marijuana has just begun operation. Marijuana can contain molds and fungus, it has even been know to get laced. For there to be a regulated medical marijuana market, consumers need to know what exactly they are consuming.
The Montana lab is mandated by the state and there are a few more that are in the process of getting setup. Have you ever considered what might grow on marijuana?
Roughly 10 miles outside of Whitefish just off U.S. 93 sits a building that appears to be a series of storage units, including one with bars on the windows. Inside is Montana’s first licensed medical marijuana testing facility.
As part of Montana’s attempt to legitimize medical marijuana, by next year every cannabis provider will be required to send their product to a lab for testing. As of this month, three laboratories have applied to serve the more than 600 providers in the state.
It’s a life-love to have a laboratory, Ron Brost said as he recently gave a tour of his laboratory north of Whitefish.
Brost, a PhD chemist, worked for automobile and technology companies most of his career. A few years ago he left his home in the Flathead for San Francisco to follow a paycheck with tech giant Apple. This month, as a way to return home, he and his wife opened Stillwater Laboratory to offer cannabis analysis for dispensaries, grow operations and patients in Montana.
The lab is a result of Senate Bill 333, requiring providers to test their product by licensed laboratories before they’re sold. The rule change sets in April 30, 2018.
This is medication for people, Brost said as he adjusted a microscope over a cannabis bud. There’s a huge range bred into each plant. If the potency is more than a patient expects, it can be similar to the difference of drinking beer or whiskey.
Two other facilities have opened in Missoula. The labs are operating on a temporary license as the state decides what requirements to include in the new regulations. Labs like Brost’s will have to go through a more comprehensive application after the rules set in.
Brost said that’s left his lab trying to predict what might be coming but regulations vary by state.