The cannabis testing market is thriving, driven by growth in both recreational and medicinal uses of cannabis. Marijuana Business Daily, a business news information resource for the medical marijuana and retail cannabis industry, reports that cannabis sales are expected to grow 200+% from 2017 to 2022:
“Continued growth in mature medical and recreational markets…combined with legalization in new states…will be the primary drivers of growth for the U.S. marijuana industry over the coming years….”
Among its medical applications, cannabis is currently used to treat the effects of a number of conditions or drug side effects including:
- Spasticity across spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis
- Vomiting and nausea linked to cancer chemotherapy
- Chronic neuropathic pain
- Cachexia and anorexia in HIV/AIDS.
The Cannabis LIMS Landscape
As a developing industry with a growing need for laboratory testing, the use of LIMS in cannabis testing is a relatively new phenomenon. Several LIMS have emerged to fill this developing niche – many of them are new or unproven systems.
As with any industry, different LIMS have distinctive offerings. Limited ‘freeware’ systems – chiefly online – offer the promise of a no-cost system, though the unseen costs can be high. Such systems lead to inevitable questions from customers:
- Who owns my data?
In at least one case, a free system takes ownership of any data used or stored in the LIMS. This can pose significant challenges from a regulatory or Company policy standpoint, where data must be strictly controlled.
- Options & upgradeability.
Many systems have limited growth potential or options available to users. This can be particularly frustrating in fast-changing environments where different or more sophisticated options may become quickly necessary.
Adapting an existing LIMS is not unreasonable – in fact, it is a common practice among labs. But there is a big difference between systems that are ‘customizable’ (potentially requiring significant resources, lengthy startup ramps, and heavy ongoing system maintenance) and systems that are ‘configurable’ (often adaptable in-house, with much shorter startup timeframes).
- Regulatory expertise.
A number of established LIMS providers have decades of experience working within regulatory environments – whether food & beverage, diagnostics or pharma. But others do not.
The cannabis industry, though young, is regulated. More importantly, it suffers from a wide-ranging diversity of laws and regulations. Localities which have a track record of legal cannabis tend to have more established testing & regulatory infrastructure, while newer cannabis localities are still building out their laws and/or guidelines.
Why LabVantage Cannabis?
In a new and fast-growing industry such as cannabis, a LIMS must easily adapt to changing business needs. Configuration options should allow users to make changes quickly – without the need for software coding skills – either by themselves or using an experienced LIMS professional services team to keep their LIMS completely on track with fast-evolving regulatory requirements.
LabVantage Cannabis a full-featured web-based LIMS, is specifically configured for this industry supporting the full workflow from sample requests to providing the final Certificates of Analysis for each batch as well as batch-by-batch variance analysis and other reports as needed. It supports full ISO/IEC 17025 compliance, GLP, 21 CFR Part 11 and Annex 11, ensuring cannabis laboratories remain compliant with a wide range of standards.
LabVantage Cannabis is a 100% web-based LIMS that gives you the opportunity to open up your LIMS to external parties. For example, grower operations or distributors can leverage the LIMS to perform their own sample request registration – improving process & workflow efficiency.
LabVantage Cannabis Key Features:
With decades of experience designing LIMS platforms for specific industry sectors, LabVantage Cannabis provides labs with a powerful platform to fully manage their cannabis-related workflow. Key features include:
- Flexibility – customers can choose either a monthly SaaS subscription or a traditional software purchase.
- Interface to METRC (Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance) without the need to double-enter data after analysis
- A full chain of custody throughout the sample life cycle
- Create cannabis-specific Certificates of Analysis (CoA) to local regulatory requirements
- One platform for all tests, instruments, sample information and result data
- Full audit trail of all information