Testing medical marijuana for potency and purity


Come down to my lab and see what's on the slab

The day is long gone and so are all the employees of Full Spectrum Laboratories. Founder and head scientist Bob Winnicki is still there, pulverizing yeast with a mortar and pestle, and combining it with various strength tinctures to be placed in gel caps. A somewhat joking offer to supply a tester is met with "Oh, I have plenty of volunteers."

The work is down and dirty. Bob doesn't sit behind a desk; he whirls around a center staged work surface, flanked on all sides by chromatography instruments utilized in the testing of cannabis. They are used to determine the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and various other cannabinoids that give marijuana its medicinal properties. When asked about his active role in this fledgling business, Bob responds "I'm not the typical bulls#*t PHD scientist…I do it all."

The discussion turns from Bob's impressive schooling and business acumen, to the need for regulation in the medical cannabis industry here in Colorado.

The fact of the matter is; the vast majority of the medical marijuana industry actually desires to be regulated, even taxed. Truth be known, many dispensaries in Colorado have been collecting taxes from their sales for months, in anticipation of new rulings.

In a recent formal opinion, Attorney General John Suthers said that medical marijuana is subject to sales tax and that retailers must first obtain a retail sales license before dispensing.

Full Spectrum's vision is light years ahead of regulations.

They are looking at standardized doses, certified purity and chemical make-ups, things that haven't even been addressed in California, let alone in the Rocky Mountain State. Bob foresees a future where patients will take specific capsules. He comments "most patients don't want to get high; they want to be pain free or without nausea."

Bob could produce a product that is so pure, as to be pharmaceutical, but won't. "We don't want to cross that line from nutraceutical to pharmaceutical. That would open up a whole new area of regulation."

In the struggle for legitimacy, Full Spectrum Labs is a great resource for Colorado's medical cannabis industry. Patients who grow their own medicine could really benefit by having it tested. Dispensaries may qualify for wholesale pricing, making it cost effective for them to build credibility with their client base.

Oh, and don't even think about that volunteer position previously mentioned unless you're a legal medical marijuana card carrier!