There are serious challenges in running a testing lab. Testing methods must be developed and validated according to regulatory guidelines. Lab personnel must be trained and must adhere closely to SOPs in order to meet testing standards. The facility and data management systems must be audit-ready and compliant.
Whether just setting up a testing lab or assisting in the growth and scope of existing testing operations – sourcing the right equipment vendor for analytical instruments is crucial. Quality of the products and reputation of the company are important, as are the service options and support. Beyond this, long-term support in the form of method development and applications assistance can be incredibly valuable and a true resource for the lab.
Conquer Scientific is an equipment provider dedicated to supporting researchers and testing professionals with instruments and resources to help them succeed. Conquer specializes in high-quality, pre-owned ion, gas, and liquid chromatographs, mass spectrometers, and microplate readers, and also offers a wide range of laboratory instruments in all other fields.
A vital aspect of instrument sourcing – and one that is often overlooked - is the expertise of the vendor and the people providing the services.
Conquer Scientific strives to provide service, support, and expertise to all types of lab testing professionals. Whether it is assisting with setup, repairing instruments, or simply providing guidance through consultation, the goal is to become a one-stop resource for the research community for all laboratory instrument needs.
Look no further than the cannabis industry to see the need for equipment expertise. Many people with varied backgrounds and scientific knowledge are interested in the cannabis testing business. An even broader audience is relying upon testing labs to provide the quality control required to meet ever-changing guidelines. Established labs must keep operations running smoothly and prepare for changes in scale or scope of testing.
To succeed in the dynamic cannabis industry, labs must have a partner and resource to turn to when questions arise regarding testing procedures, instrument capabilities, and equipment in general. Without the scientific expertise of the equipment supplier, lab operations can suffer costly consequences – in some cases never get past the start-up phase.
A cannabis testing start-up lab requires a solid foundation of knowledge and resources. Money in hand, one can’t simply hire expert chemists and fortify a lab with equipment a priori and expect to succeed. There is no formula for start-up success in a business that is changing by the minute on the consumer and regulatory fronts.
Sound understanding of the scientific fundamentals should be at the core of a testing business -- “Scientific” is at the core of Conquer Scientific.
Fatih Büyüksönmez, Ph.D, CEO of Conquer Scientific and a professor of environmental engineering, is a well-trained and experienced scientist. His background includes research into pesticides, heavy metals, volatile organic chemicals, and terpenes in wide array of environmental components and agricultural sources. Having published extensively in the area, his training and academic experience has provided the insight and knowledge to understand, not only the instrumentation, but the science behind lab testing.
Dr. Büyüksönmez acknowledges a significant correlation between scientific expertise and the needs of cannabis testing labs. As interest continues to gain momentum, from both the testing and the instrument vendor sides, it is increasingly apparent that scientific expertise is crucial in providing the right instruments and essential resources for success.
Important examples are the pesticides and heavy metals testing areas of the cannabis industry. At the moment there are no federal regulations for pesticides testing in cannabis, and state recommendations vary. More importantly, the regulatory environment is fluid and will continue to change as new developments arise.
Acquiring instrumentation for generalized agricultural pesticide testing will not be sufficient in keeping ahead of the industry. Testing labs must be keen to evolving regulatory requirements and the instruments and methods required for pesticides analysis. As many “grades” of product enter the marketplace, it is increasingly important to offer the right tests with the utmost confidence. Ramifications of inadequate equipment and expertise are strongly tied to the ultimate success of the testing lab.
“One particular area the cannabis testing labs are lagging is the Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) plans and implementation. That is why when the same sample is sent to different labs, one gets inconsistent results”, says Dr. Büyüksönmez.
A similar situation is evolving regarding heavy metals testing. Traditional federal guidelines for consumer testing have been replaced with new regulations. It is critical to future proof for the evolving tests that now involve inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), optical spectroscopy (ICP-OES), and other analytical instruments and the essential components involved.
Conquer offers a wide range of instrumentation for cannabis testing including: HPLC, GC, GC-MS, LC-MS, in addition to ICP-MS and associated equipment. Centrifuges, balances, incubators and furnaces, shakers and mixers, sample preparation devices and reagents, and a wide range of both specialized and general lab equipment are also available. Conquer is a one stop shop for all lab equipment and testing needs.
Beyond the equipment, service, and support, it is the expertise that is critical in ensuring cannabis testing labs stay ahead of this growing industry, and above all succeed.
This article was written by LabX and published in conjunction with Conquer Scientific.
Conquer Scientific was established in 2007. Since then, it has grown exponentially, owing to our understanding of researchers’ needs. Our customer base is continuously expanding with clients extending over 40 countries all around the world. Many thanks to our customers, we just expanded our warehouse to 10,000 sq. ft. — i.e., more than 250 pallets storage capacity and with test benches and a showroom.