Vancouver company tests for dangers lurking in legal marijuana
Before pot can be sold in Canada, it must be screened in laboratories like Vancouver’s Anandia.
The company has just opened new headquarters in the city’s technology hub on Great Northern Way. Pot producers pay Anandia to test their product, and business in so good, its staff has nearly doubled.
And they’re not done hiring.
Health Canada requires every new batch of marijuana to be tested for substances like bacteria, yeast and mold.
“Medical patients want to make sure that they're not inhaling mold spores,” said Lana Culley, Anandia vice-president of business development. “If you have a suppressed immune system that could definitely cause you issues.”
Cannabis that fails can be treated and then retested. Otherwise it’s deemed unsafe and not fit for the Canadian market.
The team also screens for 96 pesticides, because legally growers can only use a mild detergent and water to ward off bugs.
“Inhaling pesticides sends them directly to your lungs, and we can hypothesize that the damage can be severe,” said Culley.
The company has large chambers that determine weed best before dates. There’s also a robot named Janice that tests samples quickly without the risk of human error.
Now the Anandia is getting ready for so-called legalisation 2.0, when pot edibles will need to be scrutinized too.