In-house testing is not required federally; however, states differ in their requirements. Cannabis extraction laboratories need to test extracts for pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, cannabinoid content, depending on the state regulations to ensure product purity and consumer safety. Many extraction laboratories have started establishing in-house testing facilities to maintain quality standards, save re-extraction costs, and reduce compliance testing failures.
With in-house testing, extractors can test their products at different stages of the extraction process to ensure full compliance with state and local regulations. Cannabis extraction laboratories need to manage samples, tests, and test results, streamline QA/QC processes and generate custom Certificates of Analysis (CoAs). They also need to integrate analytical instruments with a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for data interoperability. Furthermore, they need to optimize in-house testing workflows to improve extraction efficiency.
An ERP collects, stores, manages critical business metrics and supports business operations of extraction laboratories. An ERP also helps address traceability and compliance issues faced by extraction laboratories.
A LIMS helps optimize in-house testing workflows and supports complete process automation by integrating with analytical instruments and an ERP. A LIMS compares the test results of QC samples with the test samples and flags out-of-specification results to prevent errors. It helps schedule the calibration and maintenance of analytical instruments, digitally stores documents such as SOPs, and generates custom CoAs. A LIMS is an important tool to boost operational efficiency and meet the evolving needs of cannabis extraction laboratories.
1. Explain the importance of in-house testing for cannabis extractors.
2. Describe how digitization enables cannabis extraction laboratories to overcome operational challenges and boost efficiency.
3. Discuss the role of a LIMS in automating in-house testing workflows and meeting the evolving needs of extraction laboratories with ease.