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How to Start a Cannabis Lab in 2022

There’s a lot of change with cannabis in 2022. Cannabis legalization efforts are increasing across the country which means more people have access to cannabis as well as questions about the chemical contents of their weed.

Cannabis sales are expected to break 20 billion dollars by the end of next year. This means that there’s going to be a bun and the need for cannabis labs who can safely measure, test, and ensure the quality of cannabis products for the growing market.

Here’s everything you need to know to start a cannabis lab in 2022.

Cannabis Lab Legality

When people start asking “what happens if u eat weed,” they need to know they can rely on the labs that test the purity of their product. This is where cannabis lab legality comes into play.

Each state will have different requirements for cannabis lab legality which is the big reason nailing the local laws is so difficult. Until there are federally standardized requirements in place, you’re going to need to check in with local legislations.

Here are just a few of the more common requirements:

  • Get your lab ISO/IEC accreditation
  • Get your state cannabis license
  • Check local and state fire codes as well as waste disposal, air pollution, and other requirements
  • Build out your business plan
  • Look into the Standard Operating Procedures for cannabis labs in your area

How to Hire Cannabis Lab Workers

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It might seem like some of the laws and regulations are going to be the biggest challenge for starting up your cannabis lab, but it’s actually going to be finding qualified lab technicians to run your operation.

Let’s go over the reasons why hiring talent for your cannabis lab is going to be your biggest obstacle.

Pay

This is a booming industry that requires a highly specialized degree of skill. Those two factors have come together to mean that cannabis lab technicians demand a premium pay.

Your lab is going to need to make attractive offers to these scientists in order to make sure that you can draw in the best of the best.

New Industry Needs

The cannabis industry is incredibly new. In fact, cannabis legislation has yet to reach the federal level in the United States. This means that the laws, regulations, and the standards for this industry are still starting to take shape. You’re going to need to find workers for you in the lab that are ready to move and adapt to the environment.

Ready for Change

Once cannabis becomes legal on a federal level, a lot is going to change for cannabis testing labs. Your staff is going to be ready for that change as well as changes that are continuing to happen at state and local levels.

Things like cannabis cafes, changes to the laws regarding where and when you can smoke, and the laws around how dispensaries can operate are all going to have ripple effects that change the cannabis testing needs that we have today.

Understanding the Cannabis Industry Supply Chain

Before customers can smoke or eat weed, it needs to move through the supply chain.

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Your cannabis testing lab interfaces on all levels of the cannabis supply chain.

The first place your lab can interface is with growers. You can test cannabis products straight from the farm to make sure that they’re in line with local and state standards as well as meeting the grower’s expectations.

You can also test cannabis for manufacturers. This ensures that they’re not making false claims and that the specific characteristics of their products, like the percentage of THC for example, meet the requirements they need to make.

You can also work with regulatory bodies. There’s been a dramatic increase in the need for cannabis labs who can report back to regulators in order to ensure the quality, and legality, of the cannabis that’s reaching the final marketplace.

Cannabis Lab Equipment

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This should be no surprise to you, but you’re going to need a lab that’s able to test with cannabis.

This equipment isn’t cheap. How you afford and source this equipment should be a key part of your business plan.

Building Your Lab

Can you get high from eating weed? Your lab is a scientific operation. The internal layout as well as where you choose to look at your physical operation should be decided with care. If you’re new to this type of work, you should hire on experts early in your process to ensure that your cannabis lab is set up for success.