About the Episode
Join us in learning why testing is such an integral part of cannabis production. We tour the lab facilities and see the equipment that tests for cannabinoids, terpenes, heavy metals, residual solvents, and pesticides. You’ll also get to see how all that is developed into a certificate of analysis.
Featured Guest: Michael Doub, Lab Director of Eastern Analytical Labs
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[00:00:00] Michael Doub, Lab Director: Hello and welcome to Eastern Analytics. My name is Michael Doub. I’m the Lab Director here. We’re fortunate to have Peake ReLeaf here with us today to see what we do here. Eastern Analytics is a new lab located in Middletown, Maryland. We’ve been here since May of 2021. We are just getting started here.
[00:00:43] We should have our official license from the MMCC in the next few weeks to start testing cannabis products for all of you at home and for Peake ReLeaf and any other dispensary. I have been here for about a year. We are working through the accreditation process. We’ve built out our team. We have a bright future, I hope.
What kind of accreditation is required to operate as a lab in the Maryland cannabis industry?
[00:01:17] The first accreditation we need to have is from the ISO for part 17 0 2 5. It’s for an analytic chemistry lab. On top of that, we also have license from the DEA and we’ll ultimately have MMCC license. So 17 0 2 5, they are becoming segmented to have a specialty in cannabis. On top of that, there’s the ASA requirements that are specifically for cannabis.
[00:01:47] So 17025 has adopted from the ASA and then the 17025 part for analytical chemistry labs.
How do Maryland’s testing requirements stack up to other states’ standards?
[00:02:04] I think that Maryland standards are stringent and very patient focused, which we like. That’s kind of how we focus here is we’re always thinking about the patient and ensuring transparency of the data so that whoever is purchasing at the dispensary knows exactly what they’re receiving.
What has been your most rewarding experience working in the cannabis industry?
[00:02:30] I’m going to say in the cannabis industry specifically, I really liked the people that I have met. I feel like, this industry attracts people who are very, interested in community. Very interested in good science and bringing forth medicine that truly helps people.
[00:03:24] So here we are in the sample storage area of Eastern Analytical Labs. Whenever we receive samples, it comes initially to this area. We use this computer to log everything into our systems. , We weigh everything into accepted in METRC, and immediately we do our format or testing from there. It’s stored until it’s ready to go out to the lab. At the same time here is where we create our independent number, so that that number can follow the sample throughout the lab. But anyone that works on any cannabis product, it doesn’t know who it comes from. It’s name or anything about the sample other than its unique identifier.
[00:04:08] And then that number is taken back to the actual sample, whenever it goes to a COA and generates the data for that specific sample.
We have our sample processing area. So when samples come in, they come to this lab. From there, they are, again, weighed out homogenize, water and moisture testing. And any initial tests start here, then samples are allocated and taken to the rest of the.
[00:04:41] Where we do the other testing of cannabinoids, terpenes, micro toxins, microbiology, residual solvents, heavy metals. And I think I hit all of them.
[00:05:01] One of the first tests that comes out once we have received a sample and it’s homogenized and after it is allocated bought it to testing comes out here to our HPLC, which is basically liquid chromatography. Here we’re testing cannabinoids, We use Shimatsu instrumentation here, they get a free plug on us today.
[00:05:32] And Dr. B is checking for cannabinoids. So you’re getting your THC content, CBD content, THCA, CBG, some Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC is coming off of this instrument. Dr. B we’ll get more into it in- in a little while with what he does here.
The next instrument in our lab is the LCMS, again, more liquid chromatography, but this time it’s got a mass spec on it.
[00:06:01] Here we test for pesticides and mycotoxins, any of the data you see, come on our COA on either of those two areas comes from this instrument here.
Like the other Shimatsu instruments this is our GCMS. It is a mass spec and gas chromatograph. Here, we’re testing for terpenes and residual solvents. Any of the volatile compounds we’re looking for can come off of this instrument.
[00:06:29] And this is our ICP MS. This is the most sensitive instrument we have in the lab here. We’re testing for heavy metals., And Dr. B when he’s running this can get down to parts per billion on his instrument here.
Now we are in the microbiology lab at Eastern Analytical Labs. This is where I do my work. Dr. B takes care of the chemistry and I’ve been taking care of the microbiology side.
[00:06:55] Maryland has just changed and given us in the technical authority that requirement to do plating. So we do all of our plating here for total yeast and molds. Total aerobic count and then do all of our selective media, how to identify whatever is in cannabis and to see what the numbers look like and as long as we’re within the regs.