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Setting up a Cannabis Extraction Lab? Lessons Learned Along the Way

Published: Feb 23, 2023   

The cannabis industry is booming across the world and was declared “essential” in the US at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With strict regulations by state governments, cannabis extraction laboratories need to ensure quality control and perform safety testing. Setting up an extraction laboratory is an uphill task and requires careful consideration of several factors to maximize productivity and minimize losses.

It is essential to contemplate the following areas when setting up a cannabis extraction facility:

Location: You must thoroughly understand the applicable statutory laws of the location where you plan to start an extraction facility to avoid hefty penalties.

Regulatory Compliance: You must have an in-depth understanding of all regulatory requirements, such as current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), Local fire codes, and OSHA.

Staff Management: It is important to have reliable, qualified, trained, and competent staff for performing tasks in a cannabis extraction facility. The staff should be trained to tackle all operational challenges and make decisions.

Waste Management: All laws and regulations consider waste management as one of the most important factors. You must train your staff to characterize and dispose of hazardous and non-hazardous waste as per the standard operating procedures to minimize its impact on the environment.

Supply Chain Management: You must deploy a robust quality and inventory management system to ensure complete traceability of products across the supply chain.

Equipment Selection & Management: It is recommended that extraction systems be UL-listed (UL refers to Underwriters Laboratories) or have similar Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) certification for maintaining safety standards.

An informatics solution helps automate laboratory workflows, streamlines in-house testing processes, and provides real-time access to laboratory data. Furthermore, it helps manage analytical instruments, staff training, SOPs and supports compliance with regulations.

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