Company offers medical pot testing, screening

As the medical marijuana industry continues to bloom in the Silver State, a new Las Vegas company dedicated to ensuring the purity of the drug is looking to do business with the Nye County medical pot industry.

DigiPath, Inc. supports the cannabis industry’s practices for reliable testing, education and training within the industry.

Company officials gave a presentation to the Pahrump Senior Center on Feb. 10.

Dr. Cindy Orser, chief science officer for DigiPath Labs, has created a testing environment to ensure cannabis and cannabis-based products are safe for patients.

“The purpose of testing the marijuana is because it’s being grown indoors and that’s really not such a natural setting. Anytime you have that higher density of plants in a small environment where there is high humidity, you have the likelihood that they’re going to be using pesticides to deal with insects and powdery mildew.”

The testing process is a multi-step system where results can be produced in 48 hours.

DigiPath Labs CEO Todd Denkin noted that at present the service is exclusively for businesses in the medical marijuana industry for the time being, as testing for regular consumers may also come to fruition.

“Right now we could only do business with licensed medical marijuana establishments,” he said. “According to state regulations, we have petitioned for being able to test patients’ products. It’s been turned down but they might pass it in the next legislative session.”

As a natural herb, Orser noted that many people are not aware of the various compounds found in the plant when the cultivation process is underway.

Some pesticides used to cultivate marijuana can contain heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium.

The residue can be transferred into smoke when inhaled.

The tests also screens for mold and microbial bacteria.

Mold inhalation can cause fever, diarrhea, vomiting and respiratory problems. Moisture content is also screened.

Purity aside, Orser said DigiPath offers additional services for growers, including tests for the plant’s potency, which she said is determined by the plant itself.

She noted ‘cannabinoids,’ or CBD’s, are a class of chemical compounds contained in marijuana, which acts on the brain.

“There are many, many strains of marijuana and the genetics of the plant determine which cannabinoids are produced in the highest levels,” she said. “You can also vary that by how you grow the plant. The potency depends on whether the plant is being grown to produce higher levels of CBDs, or higher levels of THC, which is psychoactive.”

Denkin, meanwhile, pondered the future of the marijuana industry as societal standards become increasingly lenient.

He pointed to November’s ballot question on the legalization of recreational marijuana for Nevada residents.

“I’m not only hopeful, I am confident that it will pass,” he said. “I think the state has done a really good job in setting the table in preparation for recreational marijuana. I don’t really like the term recreational, because it’s all medical. It is a no-brainer based on revenue and based on the fact that 42 million people come to Las Vegas every single year. I believe this will become a marijuana destination and be known as ‘Vegasterdam’ in time.”

Sarah Chapman, president of Nye County Consultants Association, began operations at 2780 S. Homestead Road location last year.

The organization was created to strengthen the medical marijuana industry in Nye County.

“We are going to be doing more educational events such as this one where different companies come out to Pahrump and explain their process and what all is happening in this new industry,” she said.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com

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