Cannabis Industry Remediation and Crop Destruction

Posted by Milan Patel on June 6, 2018

Cannabis Plant


With the start of California’s recreational marijuana sales in January of this year, some seismic shifts have occurred in the industry. The cannabis market has mushroomed and regulators want it all tested before it is offered to consumers. 

There are marijuana-infused product retailers hesitant to accept untested product for fear of contaminating equipment or other product in the facility. As a grower, even if you don’t have any microbial issues today, it is strongly suggested you consider performing your own lab tests, giving your retailers peace of mind and so you don’t run into issues down the road.

Labs look for microbiological contaminants and chemical residues. After testing, a lab is required to report their results to the state. If everything checks out, the marijuana is cleared for sale in a dispensary. However, if contamination is detected, guidelines require pricey remediation and further testing, or worse; some states may dictate that the entire crop be destroyed.

To say that loss of an entire crop represents a lot of money for growers is an understatement. Cannabis Benchmarks reports that the average spot price for cannabis has ranged from $1,486 to $2,688 per pound for the last year. With some plants producing as much as one pound per harvest, the financial losses when an entire crop is destroyed can be devastating.

Growing marijuana today is a serious business that can cost millions. Modern grow facilities use expensive technology to control lights and water. All products are tagged and tracked from seed to sale. Typically, growers are forced to buy their buildings outright since federally-backed banks won’t finance mortgages for grow operations, and many landlords still don't want cannabis grown in their buildings. Marijuana growers are laying out a lot of cash to get up and running.

A contaminated crop can force growers to spend even more and bring the entire operation to a grinding halt.

Getting Ahead with Testing Kits

The quality of cannabis can vary widely from season to season, farm to farm, between growers, collective dispensaries, and even day to day. Just because one shipment passed regulatory testing doesn’t mean it will match the quality of the next one.

Smart growers are getting out ahead of the regulators by testing their own product to avoid costly remediation, fines and loss of crops and time.

With burgeoning regulatory pressure and dwindling margins, it is more important than ever for growers and cultivators to pre-screen for contaminants to make sure their product is clean and to mitigate risk from an economics standpoint as well as a compliance standpoint.

Equip your grow organization with a straightforward cannabis lab testing capability that offers you the comprehensive protection you need to pass safety regulations and insure safe product for your buyers. This strategy also gives retailers and the public confidence that your supply chain is clean and healthy.

PathogenDx offers a lab testing setup that is simple, effective, fast and affordable. PathogenDx provides DNA-based testing equipment and kits for rapid, high-throughput, microbial sensitivity, microbial specificity, and affordable pathogen screening of cannabis products.

Their PDx-C (for pre-screening of the crop for compliance testing) and PDx-Es (environmental screening of the grow/cultivaton facility to identify contamination hotpspots) technology provides a timely, scalable, and cost-effective approach to enhance the speed of screened cannabis product to market. Requiring less than 6 hours from sample processing to results compared to 24 hours to 4 days for other testing, it is the fastest available. PathogenDx is the ideal solution for testing labs and growers because it addresses the major pain points they are experiencing.

A report from BDS Analytics, a cannabis industry research firm, estimates sales of cannabis to hit $3.7 billion by the end of 2018. Projections demonstrate that number wil increase to $5.1 billion in 2019 as more dispensaries come online, making the marijuana industry bigger than beer in California.

This money will not wait for growers that fail contamination testing to get back in the game.

Pathogen screening test kits are designed to help growers begin a path towards effective quality assurance over the cannabis products they provide and become leaders in the industry in the process.

Learn more about low-cost, highly effective pathogen testing by contacting PathogenDx. Check out an online demo to see how easy and efficient PathogenDx’s testing technology is.

Topics: cannabis testing

Written by Milan Patel