California Cannabis Testing Highlights the Importance of Quality Control
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As cannabis cultivation comes out of the basements and closets into the fully regulated light of day, Rubicon Organics™ believes that adhering to the most strict quality and health standards is essential to building brands that consumers can trust with their well-being.
According to statistics provided by California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, 20% of all cannabis products analyzed by August 6, 2018 received a failed certificate of analysis. The most common reason was inaccurate labeling, for instance misrepresenting the percentage of CBD in a product. Together, the presence of disallowed pesticides, solvents, and microbials account for 30% of the failed certificates. Clearly, cultivators and manufacturers are having a difficult time creating safe and trusted products for the world’s largest legal cannabis market, and the problems are not limited to California. Similar situations have occurred in Canada with Licensed Producers.
Smaller sample studies from earlier in 2018 present even more alarming statistics than those noted above. Steep Hill Labs collected samples from 15 dispensaries in Southern California and found 93% of samples tested positive for pesticides. Then Steep Hill followed up with a study pointing to the cloning process, and the growth media used to promote root growth, as possible culprits for the widespread positive tests.
With the scientific understanding of cannabis just now advancing due to relaxed regulations, following years of restrictions, it is clearer what is not known with certainty than what is. Agricultural technology research is turning its focus to cannabis, and ultimately cultivators will benefit from genetic selection and research-driven advancements such as safe, cannabis-specific pesticides. For now, many growers are going with what they know, and when faced with widespread crop loss may bend the new rules some to protect their investment.
The Rubicon Organics™ Solution
The founders of Rubicon Organics were in on the ground floor of the world’s first certified organic producer, Whistler Medical Marijuana Corporation. After leaving that successful venture, Rubicon’s CEO and CSO started experimenting with organic greenhouse cultivation. From improving on the classic Dutch Venlo greenhouse design, to creating their own proprietary soil mixes and growth media, the two perfected the art and the science of growing certified organic cannabis using
The result is Rubicon Organics™, on the verge of becoming Canada’s third certified organic licensed producer. Its 125,000 square foot Delta, BC greenhouse facility is in the detailed review stage of the ACMPR permitting process. The company also owns a 40,000 sf state-of-the art and custom designed greenhouse in Washington state that is currently leased to a licensed producer there, and has an off-take agreement with a 120,000 sf outdoor operation in California. Rubicon owns two brands of cannabis products, with the 1964 Supply Co.™ brand distributed in California and the Doctor & Crook Co.™ brand distributed in Washington through a state-licensed processor.
Cultivating large amounts of consistent, high quality cannabis at a low cost is a difficult proposition. Rubicon believes it can produce such crops, certified organic, at a cost of $.50/gram once facilities are running at full production levels. The certified organic distinction allows the company to charge a premium for its products, translating to healthier margins than non-organic producers operating with similar production costs.
In seeking to build a family of cannabis products that consumers can trust implicitly, Rubicon is betting on organics as a seal of quality, health, and safety. Consumer trends toward organic products reinforce the soundness of the strategy, as does the current lack of certified organic cannabis. Utilizing the company’s own proprietary growing supplies and system, based on years of research and experimentation, should allow Rubicon to limit the variables and inputs that can create uncertainty in the growing environment. Stay tuned, as Rubicon Organics™ plans on going public soon and anticipates plenty of major developments in the coming months.