How is cannabis tested in New Mexico?
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There are safety standards for everything from beauty products to foods and now the recreational cannabis you use.
Since New Mexico legalized recreational cannabis, the industry has generated $300 million in sales. The state has also issued more than 2,000 cannabis licenses, including to 633 retailers.
Licensed dispensaries in New Mexico have products with labels showing the THC content. It also shows it has been rigorously tested at a testing lab to ensure safe consumption.
A small but mighty team of four is making sure the weed you consume is up to standard quickly.
“It was taking upwards of 30 days to be able to get products and results back. That means growers can’t get that product on the shelf and that’s a threat to the industry,” said Eric Carbonneau, the president of PB Laboratories.
Megan Martinez, operations manager at PB Laboratories, says they use the method of mass spectrometry. She says it yields faster and more accurate results.
“It’s really important for consumers, to have the right amount, as well as growers and manufacturers to be putting out a product that people will enjoy and say, ‘Every time I use this gummy, it’s gonna be exactly what I expect. Every time I smoke this flower, it hits me exactly the same way,’ and have that trust in there,” Martinez said.
What happens if the samples don’t pass, though?
“If we ever see something that’s wrong and say, ‘Hey, we saw this, we saw growth of this. We saw too much pesticide.’ Let’s talk it through, let’s have a conversation. Is there something weird that happened? But they do fail and they have to remediate it,” Martinez explained.
In the past, older testing equipment wasn’t the most accurate and giving results was pretty hazy.
Martinez says growers, manufacturers and consumers can rest assured, knowing the weed they consume is consistent and safe.
“We really wanted to make sure that our laboratory testing methods are the most accurate and the best that they could be,” Carbonneau said.
As of now, New Mexico has five testing labs that serve more than 1,400 cannabis growers and manufacturers.