A cannabis sample being prepped for processing by a cannabis testing facility in Michigan.

TG Branfalt Jr.

Alaska’s First Cannabis Testing Lab Opens, Rec. Market Poised to Launch

Alaska’s first cannabis testing laboratory opened up for business on Monday, launching the state further toward its official, finalized recreational marketplace.

CannTest LLC — located in an Anchorage industrial zone — is Alaska’s premier cannabis testing lab. The lab opened on Monday and is now accepting cannabis products from cannabis retailers, manufacturers, and commercial and private growers.

“It’s been a long road and I’m happy to see it finally starting to move,” CannTest’s CEO Mark Malagodi told Alaska Dispatch News. “We get to play a real part and (provide) a real service to people.”

The launch of the recreational marketplace has essentially hinged on CannTest’s opening: like most other state laws allowing the commercial sale of marijuana products, Alaska’s new cannabis infrastructure requires that all products sold to consumers must first be tested for potency and harmful microbials.

There are two other cannabis labs hoping to open this winter: AK Green Labs LLC, which in September announced plans to open sometime in November in Anchorage; and Southeast Alaska Laboratories LLC, a Juneau-based lab whose application remains under review by state officials.

With retailers and growers now submitting products to CannTest for inspection, it could be just a matter of days — depending on how long the tests take — before retailers are buying bulk orders of recreational cannabis and opening their doors to consumers. Stay tuned for more coverage as Alaska’s recreational cannabis market, which was first approved by voters in 2014, makes its official launch.

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