The Trichrome Institute is “forcing the industry to grow better weed,” according to President Max Montrose, with their Trichrome Assurance Grade (TAG) system, which analyzes cannabis for potentially unhealthy and dangerous compounds such as fungus, mites and spider eggs.
The Colorado-based company’s testing is far more in depth than required by the state. They look at each strain through a microscope, grading the bud based on factors including look and smell. Their level-three interpeners apply mathematical values to the visual points and inhale the sample in a “micropuff.”
“We’re the only lab in the state that consumes cannabis as part of our testing process,” Montrose said in a Westword report. “We don’t consume it to grade if we get high or not; we don’t care about that. We look for burnability, because if your bud starts crackling, it’s sprayed. And if it’s not flushed, if the grower didn’t extract the salted minerals out of the plant before he cut it down, you’re smoking salt. That’s why when you smoke and it’s hot and burns in your throat, that’s not good.”
Three dispensary groups are currently selling TAG-certified cannabis strains: B-Good, Northern Lights and Silver Stem. However, the company has worked with 30 different dispensaries, analyzing over 180 different strains. Dispensaries who participate in the TAG program will have a “Responsible Vendor” sticker for their shop door, and their graded strains will be labeled.
Montrose suggests TAG-certified cannabis and dispensaries will be identified by an app as the system becomes more widely used.