First marijuana testing lab opens in Anchorage

  • By Dan Joling
  • Monday, October 24, 2016 10:49pm
  • News

ANCHORAGE — Alaska’s first marijuana testing laboratory opened for business Monday, offering cannabis analysis for retail outlets and commercial or private growers.

CannTest LLC, operating in an industrial area in Anchorage, cleared regulatory requirements Friday, said Mark Malagodi, the chief executive officer.

The lab will test 4-gram samples for purity and potency.

“Customers definitely want to know what they’re getting,” Malagodi said. “They have to know, themselves, the kind of experience they want, what it is they’re going to be using.”

Alaska voters approved recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and older in November 2014.

Passage of the ballot measure made it legal under state law to possess up to an ounce of marijuana outside of a home.

Growers, retail outlets and testing labs have been waiting for regulatory processes to be put in place. Retail outlets could open as early as this week.

The state on June 9 granted CannTest a license while delegating oversight to the municipality of Anchorage. Regulatory requirements met by the company included passing an inspection by an outside reviewer.

The company will test cannabis flowers, concentrates and edibles.

For flowers, the state Marijuana Control Board requires concentration testing of five cannabinoids, the active ingredients of marijuana.

On the safety side, the lab will be testing for E. coli bacteria and aspergillus, a mold that can cause serious health problems for people with respiratory disease.

Mold can develop if cannabis is not properly dried, Malagodi said.

“It’s pretty dangerous for anyone who has a weakened respiratory system,” he said.

With the industry in its infancy, CannTest does not have a big backlog of product waiting to be tested, he said.

Only a handful of growers have harvested cannabis, including one who grew a crop outdoors.

CannTest was required by the state and city to put in place the same security systems required by growers and retail establishments.

That includes an alarm system and video surveillance in all restricted areas. Only people 21 and older are allowed on the premises.

CannTest expects to complete tests with 72 hours.

More in News

Joseph Lee, of Idaho, backed by Ivan Zarate, of Arizona, and Abiud Zarate, of Baja California, Mexico, arrange fish so their heads can be chopped off by a guillotine-style machine Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at Pacific Star Seafoods in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai, assembly urge US Commerce Secretary to veto EEZ closure

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to reccomend the closure last December.

Kim Lofstedt casts her vote early in Alaska’s Primary Election at Kenai City Hall on Aug. 17, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough to acquire accessible voting equipment

The acquisition will be in response to allegations of discrimination by a voter

Benjamin Jackinsky (left) and Sarah O’Brien work at Already Read on Friday, Feb. 19 in Kenai, Alaska.
Shoppers make the most of program to boost Kenai business

598 people have already participated in Kenai’s shop local program.

Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File 
In this March 11, 2012, file photo, Dallas Seavey pulls in to the checkpoint in Unalakleet, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Pandemic forces route change, other precautions for Iditarod

This year’s Iditarod will be marked by pandemic precautions, a route change, no spectators and the smallest field of competitors in decades.

A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
More than 1 in 4 Alaskans 16 and older have 1 vaccine dose

Alaska continues to lead the nation in vaccine rollout

Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, chairs a Senate Finance Committee meeting on Thursday, March 4, 2021. Stedman, who’s chaired the finance committee through multiple legislatures, said time is running out to fix the state’s finances. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
‘Time is running out’: Lawmaker warns of state finances

“The longer it takes to fix this, my concern is the smaller the dividend will be for the people.”

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink addresses members of the media during a remote press conference on Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Alaska. (Screenshot)
Zink: Stay vigilant with COVID mitigation

Some parts of Alaska are experiencing increased COVID transmission

Most Read