Colorado Regulators Temporarily Ban RM3 Labs From Testing Cannabis Potencies
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RM3 Labs, a cannabis testing facility in Broomfield, Colorado, has been temporarily prohibited from testing the potency of samples.
The lab is still permitted to conduct other tests, such as heavy metal and pesticide analyses.
The ban comes from the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), which asked RM3 Labs to remove a sieving step in its sample preparation process. RM3 complied, but the CDPHE still suspended the lab’s potency certification while it reviews the lab’s updated sample preparation process.
Speaking to Analytical Cannabis, Ian Barringer, founder of RM3 Labs, elaborated on the CDPHE’s decision.
“Since 2010, back when we started the company, we’ve had a sieving step in our sample preparation, where basically we take out stems and seeds, because that’s the way that consumers prepare their own materials, at least flower.”
“The CDPHE is now trying to standardize processes among different laboratories,” he continued. “So they have asked us to eliminate the sifting step that we used.”
“We eliminated the step [then] we provided [the new standard operating procedures] to the CDPHE.”
“And while they were reviewing it and doing a before-and-after comparison of how that would change our results, they have suspended our potency certification. So we can’t run potency tests while we’re in this review process.”
But this review process is at least nearing completion, says Barringer.
“We provided them now with all of the documentation that they’ve requested,” he added. “The last step is […] to collect samples that we’re preparing. They’re going to run those same samples in their laboratory.”
“And so presumably, after that comparison study is complete, which hopefully will be within the next week or so, we will be up and running again for potency.”
In the meantime, the suspension has forced the company to furlough some of its employees, given that the lab now has fewer tests to carry out.
“It has been painful for us,” Barringer told Analytical Cannabis. “We are furloughing some of our employees in the interim, which is something that we’ve never had to do [since] the very start of Covid.”
“So it is a difficult step to undertake, but it will be over soon.”