Recent recommendations by the Health and Human Services Department have the potential to reclassify cannabis as a Schedule 3 drug, opening the doors for more scientific research, improved banking options, and greater acceptance within the medical community. At the forefront of this dynamic landscape is Portland, Maine-based Nova Analytic Labs, a company founded in 2020 that has rapidly become a linchpin in both compliance and R&D testing for cannabis.
Founder and Vision
Chris Altomore, CEO and founder of Nova Analytic Labs, is no stranger to breaking new ground. When establishing the company, Altomore envisioned a facility that went beyond compliance testing. As he stated in an exclusive interview with Benzinga Cannabis Insider News, “When someone fails a compliance test, we don’t just flag it. We investigate.” This focus on deeper research allows the lab to address questions like “why did this sample fail?” rather than merely flagging non-compliant products.
Beyond Compliance: The Investigative Approach
Nova Analytic Labs takes its mission seriously. If a sample fails to meet compliance standards, the team doesn’t stop at reporting; they go on-site to the client’s facility to conduct comprehensive testing. Air, water, and soil samples are taken to pinpoint the root cause, be it pesticide residue, mold growth, or other contaminants. Altomore notes, “Mold and bacteria are common failures, but a pathogen called Hop Latent Viroid can be catastrophic. It can seriously decrease cannabis yield.” The objective is to provide actionable insights to clients for future cultivation or production cycles.
Despite a growing trend towards mobile testing services in the cannabis industry, Nova Analytic Labs is committed to a strict in-lab testing protocol. Altomore emphasizes that the high-tech tools and technologies they use necessitate an environment that only a fully-equipped lab can offer.
Challenges and Regulatory Shakeup
In light of the Health and Human Services Department’s recommendation for cannabis to be reclassified as a Schedule 3 drug, Altomore observes that the existing Schedule 3 regulatory framework doesn’t perfectly match the unique demands of the cannabis industry. “Creating these new guidelines will likely take years,” he says, highlighting that the rapidly evolving regulations will require a different set of specific rules tailored for cannabis.
Partnership Over Fee-For-Service
Unlike many other labs that operate on a fee-for-service basis, Nova Analytic Labs adopts a partnership model. It collaborates closely with clients to investigate and develop specific matrices for precise tests.
As federal regulations around cannabis are on the cusp of significant transformation, Nova Analytic Labs stands poised to adapt and lead. Chris Altomore’s insights offer an invaluable glimpse into an industry set not just to grow in size but to evolve in scientific rigor and legitimacy. With new ventures on the horizon and an unyielding drive for innovation, Nova Analytic Labs is not merely a testing facility; it’s a visionary establishment pushing the limits of what cannabis testing and research can accomplish.