Alaska adds marijuana testing facility in state’s underserved interior

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Alaska regulators approved the license for the first cannabis testing facility in interior Alaska, and the lab is expected to open next month in Fairbanks.

Having a testing facility there will cut wait time and transportation costs for interior growers, said Cary Carrigan with the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association.

State tax records show there are about 30 marijuana cultivators active and paying taxes in Fairbanks and in northern Alaska.

The only other testing facilities in the state are CannTest in Anchorage, New Frontier Research just north of Anchorage and Southeast Alaska Laboratories in Juneau.

The marijuana board approved the license for Fairbanks Analytical Testing on Aug. 16 in a 4-1 vote, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

The new lab is fully operational, but it will need to get a final inspection in the coming weeks before the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office issues the license.

A recently released state report questioned whether CannTest and the now-closed Steep Hill were providing accurate results about potency and contaminants.

Carrigan expects cannabis testing is going to be more important as Alaska’s cultivators fight to stand out.

“I am certain that people are going to be willing to pay more to have more elaborate testing done as this industry continues to roll forward,” he said. “It’s a selling point.”

Marijuana Business Factbook 2018 projects Alaska’s recreational marijuana sales will reach $70 million to $100 million in 2018.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily