Cannabis testing is now a regulated element of today’s emerging market. Cannabis, just like any other type of agricultural product, is inevitably exposed to variables that affect its quality and effects on users. These variable be anything from pesticides to mold caused by extreme weather conditions. Testing cannabis provides consumers with peace of mind by eliminating health risks.
The Emerald Magazine reached out to Joe Crinkley of MCR Labs in Framingham, Massachusetts, to learn more about the lab, and why it’s important to test your product. “We perform potency profiling and safety screening on all manner of cannabis products, from flower and concentrates to topicals and even transdermal patches. Our [lab] cover[s] all of the testing required for cannabis products to be compliant with current regulations in Massachusetts. We work with a majority of the licensed cannabis retailers here in M.A., [and are] also happy to offer our services to independent home growers, aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs, patients crafting their own medicinal products or researchers striving to advance our understanding of cannabis and the compounds therein.”
In 2012, Massachusetts voters passed a ballot initiative for medical cannabis. That’s when MCR President and Founder, Michael Khan, had an epiphany and left his career in the pharmaceutical industry.
With encouragement from colleagues and friends, Khan found a window to leverage his chemistry background to put himself on the map for the budding industry. While there was no immediate need for testing then, Khan had the foresight to pre-empt the upcoming need for professional lab-testing services. One year later, Khan opened the first cannabis testing facility in Massachusetts.
MCR Labs ventured into the industry because of the unique opportunity that cannabis presented. Its rapid growth made for a solid foundation, and the early drafts of Massachusetts state regulations made analytical testing necessary, which made MCR Labs’ position a critical and pivotal one in the industry.
The biggest challenge the lab has faced has been to establish itself in the legal landscape. Rules and regulations have created unusual challenges. MCR Labs have learned to ride the wave by maintaining positive relationships with their industry partners as well as government agencies overseeing the state’s cannabis program.
“As the first independent cannabis testing laboratory to be certified by the Massachusetts DPH,” Joe Crinkley explained, “we are proud to offer analytical testing and R&D services to MMJ and adult-use cannabis providers, patients, doctors, caregivers or anyone crafting their own cannabis products. Our methods are ISO-17025 accredited, and we employ proven analytical practices developed in the pharmaceutical industry. Both our Founder, Michael Kahn, and our Director of Scientific Operation, Scott Churchill, got their start in pharmaceutical drug testing before transitioning to the cannabis industry. Their backgrounds with analytical testing, as well as Scott’s experience teaching enthusiasts about lab testing and different extraction methods at the Northeast Institute of Cannabis, have made MCR Labs one of the most trusted labs in the state.”
And while the main proprietors of MCR Labs give their life to science, they also are advocates of the plant outside the facilities. Kahn works closely with cannabis advocacy groups as well as regulators and policymakers to help push for responsible and effective policy in relation to the industry within Massachusetts. He is seen as a trusted voice in the cannabis space for New England.
We are passionate about cannabis science and strive to supply our partners with accurate information that encourages safe and responsible practices. Additionally, we make every effort to collaborate with top advocacy groups, educators and fellow researchers in the field to further both the science and acceptance of cannabis,” said Crinkley.
Michael Kahn, President & Founder
Scott Churchill, Director of Scientific Operations
Ross Gutman, Director of Business Operations
Jonathan Wani, Director of Client Services
Yasha Kahn, Director of Marketing & Technology