Medical marijuana testing lab opens in W. Sac

By April 21, 2011

Two UC Davis professors are the driving force behind Halent Laboratories’ new medical marijuana testing facility in West Sacramento.

With corporate offices at 1415 L St. in Sacramento, Halent is independently owned and not affiliated with any dispensaries or growers, a news release said.

Halent aims to provide medical marijuana users with the information they need to make informed choices by testing their medicine for potency and the presence of any harmful pesticides or mycotoxins such as molds and bacteria.

Two of the lab’s leaders are UCD professors Donald P. Land, Ph.D., and the Rev. Dr. Kymrom deCesare. Even though these men came from very different backgrounds, they both agree that a quality, independent cannabis testing facility is needed to ensure the safe and effective use of medical marijuana.

“Knowing a medicine’s potency is fundamental in the treatment of any ailment,” said Land, president and chief scientist at Halent. “Without that information, patients are left to trial and error. With the information we provide, that’s no longer necessary.”

“Plus, many medical cannabis users have compromised immune systems, making ingesting pesticides or mycotoxins extremely dangerous,” deCesare added. “It’s incredible to us that a product sold for medicinal use can contain potentially harmful agents without the patient’s knowledge. Our test not only allows patients to know what to expect as far as potency is concerned, but also that it is free of potentially harmful contaminants.”

Because Halent is a strong advocate for the patient’s right to know what is in their medicine, the company is a member of the California Cannabis Association, which is lobbying the state to make laboratory testing of medical marijuana mandatory.

“It’s our belief that quality control is the best conceived method for making medical marijuana safe for seriously ill patients,” said Amir Daliri, president of the association. “We are extremely pleased that a laboratory of the quality of Halent is now in business to provide growers, dispensaries and patients with the information needed to safely use cannabis for medical purposes.”

It’s believed that only about 10 percent of medical marijuana dispensaries are testing their products, but patient demand for testing is growing, and the dispensaries that provide test information are experiencing increased sales, the news release said.

Halent leaders said the company has made it “convenient and cost-effective for more dispensaries to begin the testing process,” which many believe will soon be state-mandated. Halent’s courier service picks up a small sample of the cannabis from the dispensary, takes it to the lab where it is tested, then emails test results back to the dispensary.

“We are in business to get information back to the dispensaries and their patients as quickly and affordably as possible,” Land said. “There is no reason for patients to use untested cannabis any longer. The technology exists to give them the information they need to make an informed decision, and we are happy to provide it.”

For more information, visit www.Halent.com.

Enterprise staff

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