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This week, MCR Labs President Michael Kahn and Director of Business Development Jonathan Wani discuss how they protect cannabis consumers and help manufacturers improve — and protect — their businesses.
The company started in 2013 when Kahn left his role as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry to create a public health-centered lab that provides accurate cannabis data.
Kahn wanted MCR to be more than a traditional lab, which often operate like a “dark box'' where samples come in and data goes out. For Kahn, it's not simply a transactional relationship with clients; they often help manufacturers contextualize data to gain a better understanding of what is happening in the facility.
As the industry continues to evolve and mature, the company's mission of public health has not wavered: create an environment in which fewer contaminants are found in cannabis products.
In samples, MCR finds everything from microbiological contaminants — bacteria and mold — to heavy metals and pesticides, as well as residual solvents and concentrates. What's encouraging, however, is that more products are passing through the lab, which saw a more consistent pass rate over the last three to four years.
MCR Labs is based in Framingham, Massachusetts, but recently opened its first lab outside of its home state. In January, the company began accepting and testing cannabis product samples for Pennsylvania-based medical marijuana licensees at its Allentown facility.
MCR was the first independent cannabis testing lab certified in Massachusetts, and the company says data accuracy and integrity will remain a top priority as it expands into additional markets.