Even in states that don’t require quality assurance testing, business managers can utilize information to push their enterprise ahead of the competition
By Rowshan Reordan
Cannabis testing. What is all the fuss about? Those who live in states that require quality assurance testing complain about the cost. Those who live in states that don’t require testing do not want to spend money on it. Cannabis testing requirements vary throughout the nation from nonexistent to fully regulated. Either way, many cannabis businesses see it as an unnecessary cost and a hindrance to the smooth functioning of their business.
However, instead of looking at testing as completely unnecessary, it helps for businesses to think about testing as a way to succeed regardless of state regulations.
Testing can be used to set a business apart from its competition. Instead of cannabis testing being seen as the problem, many businesses are starting to use it as a solution that adds value to their business. Yes, it is a cost and in certain states, a required cost; but businesses can use testing as a way to set their product apart and turn a perceived negative into a tangible positive.
There are numerous benefits that can be gained, from using test results for research and development to understanding the basic compounds in your product.
R&D testing will help businesses create a product that will not only have longevity in the cannabis market, but will provide the innovation needed to improve the product. R&D testing will also ensure the future success of businesses through branding and product consistency and reliability.
Utilizing testing to understand the basic compounds in your product can give you a competitive advantage in marketing. Using potency testing, residual solvent screening, terpene profiling or pesticide analysis, among many other available tests, will allow companies to build consumer trust needed to jump ahead of the competition.
Understanding the potency of a product and whether it has more tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than cannabidiol (CBD) can help market the product to a more targeted customer base. This is valuable to retail establishments, as well as producers who may want to have the cannabis processed into a concentrate, extract, topical or food item.
Knowing whether a concentrate or extract has residual solvents can assist your business in identifying its processing methods and assess whether they have been developed to be safe and chemical-free for consumers. This is even more important for medical patients who might have compromised immune systems. Consumers will gravitate toward businesses that take steps to ensure and prove their product is safe for consumption.
Identifying your terpene profile can assist in your growing, harvesting and curing methods. It can also assist in developing your methods for processing cannabis flower into a concentrate or extract. It gives your business the opportunity to market its method as superior for the preservation of the natural terpenes found in cannabis, giving a concrete value to the smells and flavors everyone loves.
Look at the certified organic food revolution and how consumers are willing to spend more money for food they believe is safer for their health. Medical cannabis patients and recreational cannabis consumers will value products that are free of harmful pesticides and chemicals.
Cannabis testing does cost money, but it’s inevitable in a highly regulated market. Testing should not be a source of frustration. Instead, it should be utilized as a tool for businesses during these changing times.
Rowshan Reordan is the founder of Green Leaf Lab, Oregon’s largest cannabis analytical laboratory, with four locations (www.greenleaflab.org). She was one of the first women to open a cannabis laboratory in the nation, and has spearheaded standardization and the legitimization of cannabis safety testing for both the medical and recreational sectors.