The coalition between investors, producers, innovators, manufacturers, regulators and distribution centres maintains the focus on the reliable, standardised, safe and regulated cannabis products for the use by patients in need. Nurturing quality, professional standards and methodology, facilitates the availability of products and economic benefits for current and future markets within the cannabis community.

The Cannabis Laboratory takes on a three-tiered approach:

  1. Receiving, identifying and processing;
  2. End product analysis and finally
  3. Research and Development.

The processing laboratory is set up to ensure reproducible and effective cannabis products by handling receiving aspects like investigating the appearance of the arriving, cultivated cannabis’ morphological and microbiological presentation to ensure the appropriate, respective cannabis strain has arrived on sight prior to the extraction process proceeding.

Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), Analysis equipment and real-time data analysis help run each leg of the process and facilitate service excellence. The depth of the CRI’s alliances enables services to be offered over a spectrum of diseases and through each stage of disease manifestation. Further partnerships are continuously being introduced to develop and produce new unique pharmaceutical, complementary, veterinary and health medicines, oils and supplements.

The Cannabis Laboratory includes an intricate security system which limits unauthorized access to the various testing rooms. Cameras and card access points-of-entry stops the flow of untrained and unqualified personnel into the respective areas, maintaining sterility and securing sample and research and development products. Viewing windows will allow visitors and potential clients the opportunity to observe the processes without disturbing the natural running of the laboratory. Stringent, Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) will begin with simple good practice of personnel hygiene and laboratory coat and/or clothing changing and sterile areas. Documentation and an integrated Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) will keep track of: arrival, storage, client and partner research projects, details of samples from seeds and plants right through to the development of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and other extraction samples of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabinol (CBN). All equipment in the various divisions of the laboratory will be linked electronically to the LIMS system. The equipment will be maintained and serviced, calibrated, sterilized and decontaminated in accordance with good GLP and GMP practices laid out both by SAHPRA.

Quantitative assays using GC will be used to ascertain the quantification of THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBG or CBN in the respective laboratory samples. Qualitative identification is carried by TLC. This step is imperative in ensuring that the origin of the cannabis line remains the same and eliminates the possibility of hybrid or foreign plant cross-contamination during the fertilization stage of cultivation prior to sowing of seeds. The tests will also be indicators of whether the integrity of the cannabis has been compromised during transportation. The CRI will make use of existing and create new libraries of identification markers to identify the stock arriving at the plant.

The next phase of the process begins the analytical process of determining the levels of growth enhancers, pesticides, fungicides and heavy metals the crop was exposed to using gas chromatography. The samples are then transferred to the microbiology division where intricate tests are performed to verify if there are any fungi, bacterial, mould or other pathogens found in the cultivated stock samples.