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Pot testing lab stresses importance of product safety going into 2019

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2014, file photo, smaller-dose pot-infused brownies are divided and packaged at The Growing Kitchen in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

A cannabis testing company hopes improving safety of pot products is the focus this year

As Canada prepares for edibles, a cannabis testing company says the focus of producers should be on product safety

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A B.C. cannabis testing company says 2019 should be all about improving the safety of pot products.

Rob McIntyre with Salvation BioScience says his company hopes the federal government makes third party testing mandatory, as Canada moves towards legalizing edibles and other high potency products.

“Not trusting the LPs to test their own, but to have a third party to test and verify that cannabis is safe in edible form,” he tells NEWS 1130. “We’re a testing lab, so our focus on those regulations is consumer safety. The biggest issue that we’re facing is the testing for microbials and bacteria contamination.”

He says there will be a lot of changes in the industry over the next two years and testing rules need to keep up.

“One of the things we need to be looking out for is mold and bacteria… We have seen a couple of recalls in the regulated market for mold. If the wrong mold, the wrong bacteria are in your edibles, that’s a real problem.”

However, many craft growers have argued adding layers of bureaucracy will only drive more businesses to stay in the grey market and constrict legal production to a few big corporations.

McIntyre stresses the importance of “getting it right”, saying the situation could backfire if regulations are not properly addressed.

“With good regulation and good legislation, we should see that constitutionally protected growing market disappear, but that’s the real challenge,” he says. “If it’s not done very well, that grey market will become black and we’ll have an increase in that black market, if it’s not done right.”

Vancouver’s Lift and Co. Convention runs through the weekend.

-With files from Dean Recksiedler