With Colorado now requiring hemp products to undergo comprehensive potency and safety testing, manufacturers and growers need reliable lab partners to meet these new regulations.
San Diego-based Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs (InfiniteCAL) is among the first labs to become fully certified cannabis testing facilities through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Erik Paulson, PhD, lab manager at InfiniteCAL, recently spoke to Cannabis Products Magazine about the certification process and what it means for hemp growers and manufacturers.
CP: Did InfiniteCAL have operations in Colorado before pursuing hemp certification? If so, when did they begin?
EP: Yes, we had a few long-time clients that we have worked with over the past couple of years. Our mutual desire to keep working together was the initial impetus for pursuing Colorado hemp testing certification.
CP: Why did InfiniteCAL decide to pursue hemp testing certification?
EP: In addition to continuing to serve our existing Colorado-based clients, InfiniteCAL was founded for one reason: To ensure consumers have access to safe, quality products tested by a reputable laboratory. These new regulations have ultimately created a framework that prioritizes public health with arguably the toughest testing requirements in the nation. InfiniteCAL applauds Colorado for being one of the first states to set the precedent for consumer safety, and (it) will continue to expand its services to other states that do the same.
CP: How would you describe the certification process?
EP: The certification process was rigorous – validations of all of our testing methods were reviewed to ensure we could test various products with high accuracy and precision. The data and document review was followed by an on-site audit so the auditors could see our operations firsthand. Throughout the whole process, the auditors maintained very open lines of communication, so we knew exactly what they expected from us.
CP: How does it feel to be the first lab to obtain full certification?
EP: It ultimately reflects on the amount of thought and effort we put into not only the certification process, but also our testing protocols. This required all hands on deck from every department in the lab, and the team is pleased to see the hard work towards obtaining certification come to completion.
CP: How can testing their products at a certified lab benefit growers and manufacturers?
EP: The Colorado regulations require all hemp products produced and sold in Colorado to be tested by a CDPHE-certified lab under the new guidelines. Using a lab that is not certified will not be sufficient for compliance and also may lead to inconsistent results. Cultivators and manufacturers will surely face challenges with the new safety regulations. InfiniteCAL is here to provide our expertise to navigate through these obstacles.
CP: How do Colorado’s testing requirements benefit consumers?
EP: Colorado’s new testing requirements should provide safety and consistency for consumers, knowing that every product sold on the shelf has gone through a full panel of potency and safety tests.
CP: What do you expect to happen as Colorado’s rules take effect? Do you expect to see changes across hemp markets in the U.S.?
EP: InfiniteCAL expects that there will be a period of adjustment, as the growers and manufacturers learn about their requirements. The testing labs and regulatory agencies will be observing and communicating with one another about the best way to enforce the requirements and regulations. These new industrial hemp regulations that Colorado has implemented have brought them up to the rigor of the toughest existing cannabis regulations of any state.
InfiniteCAL anticipates there will be a standardization among states and the federal government to regulate cannabis and hemp similarly after the federal government legalizes cannabis. The Colorado hemp regulations provide a blueprint on how to develop consistency between the two regulatory spheres.