With the cannabis industry continuing to grow throughout the US, A2LA has dedicated itself to supporting quality in cannabis labs as they work to ensure access to safe, accurately labeled cannabis products. A2LA’s dedicated cannabis accreditation team is involved in industry groups, provides educational content to cannabis labs, and even makes recommendations on new legislation. Each laboratory we accredit has its own unique history and a distinct journey to accreditation, but the value of ISO/IEC 17025 is universal within the cannabis industry. For this Cannabis Customer Q&A, Greg Michaud, CEO of Viridis Laboratories, spoke with us about the value of ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation and why Viridis chose A2LA as their accreditation provider.
Can you give me a summary of your company?
Our company is a licensed safety compliance facility within the State of Michigan specializing in the regulatory analysis of cannabis and cannabis products. We have two locations that service all of Michigan, located in the cities of Lansing and Bay City. (www.viridis-labs.com)
How did your company get involved in the cannabis testing space?
The three founders of the company together have over 75 years forensic science experience, having worked for the Michigan State Police the majority of their careers. The ability to bring that experience to a fledgling industry allowed for the founders to maintain their core value of providing health and safety to Michigan’s citizens.
How did you hear about A2LA and why did you initially choose A2LA as your accreditation body?
Thanks to years of experience working within the Michigan State Police’s regulated and accredited laboratory operations, the founders of Viridis Laboratories were aware of A2LA early on as one of the leading ISO/IEC 17025 accrediting bodies in the United States. With A2LA’s reputable and rigorous accreditation program specializing in cannabis, coupled with a Patient Focused Certification through the American’s for Safe Access, it was an easy decision to partner with them on our accreditation.
What are some reasons why you have remained an A2LA customer?
A2LA’s reputation as a leading accreditation body, along with its superb customer service, brings an unwavering confidence to our laboratories that would not be felt from using other accrediting bodies within the industry. Their subject matter expertise and reputation is also recognized by our customers, which brings added trust that our test methods and processes lead to accurate, quality driven analytical results.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a potential or current cannabis testing laboratory as they look into accreditation?
Laboratory accreditation is more than just showing compliance against criteria listed within an ISO standard. It is a lengthy process that requires an organization’s full commitment to quality assurance throughout its operations. Preparation needs to begin early on and maintained through a culture and team buy-in of continuous quality improvement every day.
How has your laboratory had to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Deemed essential by the State of Michigan, the Viridis teams have been working non-stop throughout the pandemic, ensuring that safe and healthy cannabis and cannabis products continue to make it to the retail market. Our sterile laboratory environments and committed use of personal protection equipment, both in the field collecting samples and during laboratory analysis, allowed us to come into compliance with Michigan’s regulatory framework with minimal effort.
Is there anything else that you would like to highlight about your company at this time?
Viridis Laboratories is the only multi-laboratory system within Michigan’s regulated cannabis industry. Having two A2LA accredited laboratories builds greater confidence with customers that quicker turnaround times and consistent results will remain constant, knowing both are critical to their success. Viridis Laboratories prides itself in maximizing its customer service through accredited test methods and processes. A prime example of this is that our sample collections in the field is the only accredited process midst all the testing laboratories within Michigan’s cannabis industry.
We understand the importance of maintaining the profile integrity of each and every sample from collection through analysis. This attention to detail is the result of years of analytical experience and leadership gained during our previous positions within the forensic sciences. This experience along with its A2LA accreditation and Patient Focused Certification has resulted in Viridis Laboratories being recognized as the premiere cannabis testing laboratory in Michigan.