Cannabis Interview – Aaron Riley – CEO of CannaSafe
The importance of having an accredited lab for testing cannabis and all of its products for consumption, has never been more applicable than right now. Enters CannaSafe.
We sat down with Aaron Riley, CEO of CannaSafe to talk about accredited cannabis labs, providing value, integrity-based testing, quality control and failure rates. Here’s what Aaron had to say:
We help our clients formulate, manufacture and test products to make sure they are safe and properly dosed for consumers…
Aaron Riley CEO of CannaSafe
Cannabis Magazine: CannaSafe is the world’s first ISO accredited cannabis testing lab. How did this accreditation come about? What’s the process like? What are the requirements to receive accreditation?
Aaron Riley: CannaSafe was the first ISO accredited cannabis lab in the world. Initially when CannaSafe called the accrediting body, they had refused to accredit a cannabis testing business. Ironically though, the accrediting body is only accrediting your processes, and not what you are testing.
With some convincing we were able to get them to come do an accreditation audit, and then CannaSafe was off to the races, being the first accredited cannabis lab back in 2012. The requirements are to have a quality system, SOPs, validated testing methods, etc. Interestingly enough since we were the first accredited testing lab, it has now become the standard requirement for regulated cannabis testing labs.
Cannabis Magazine: What is CannaSafe’s overall mission? How does CannaSafe help to foster the growth of a responsible and safe legal cannabis industry?
Aaron Riley: Our mission statement is straightforward – Mission Statement – Providing quality, value, and integrity-based testing to businesses and consumers for verifiable and safe Cannabis consumption – And we strongly live by that.
We help our clients formulate, manufacture and test products to make sure they are safe and properly dosed for consumers. We still do this on a micro level but are having major impacts being that we test for almost 30% of the regulated California market. Knowing we have that level of impact on the quality control and safety for the biggest cannabis market in the world is not something we take lightly.
CannaSafe | Courtesy of Business Insider
Cannabis Magazine: What types of harmful substances have you found in cannabis / CBD products? Why are these problematic?
Aaron Riley: We have found harmful contaminates from heavy metals, pesticides, bacteria, mold, solvents. Pretty much all the contaminants we test for we have found in products, both CBD and cannabis.
These are problematic from the all types of detrimental health effects, especially pesticides, which turn into toxins when combusted and can be especially harmful to an immunocomprimsed individuals.
Salmonella and E coli are both known to have killed consumers and can present huge safety risks. All the contaminants we tested for are harmful to consumers, thats why we are testing for them
Cannabis Magazine: Do you think the work that your lab is doing is making an impact on the legal cannabis industry? Is it improving?
Aaron Riley: Yes we certainly are making an impact. My first year doing this the fail rate was over 70%, meaning 70% of products wouldn’t be eligible to be sold today. That was pre-regulation, now our regulated product fail rate is around 5% and R&D is 10-15%. So products have gotten much safer.
Its definitely a better time to be a consumer today. We see some of the same parallels with Cannabis as we do with CBD. Most CBD products do not contained claimed amounts of CBD and many would fail safety screening as well.
CannaSafe | 3rd Party Lab Testing
Cannabis Magazine: What types of equipment / machinery do you have in your lab and what functions do they perform?
Aaron Riley: We use a variety of all new Agilent technology to perform testings. We have LC/MS/MS GC/MS/MS, ICP/MS and many more.
Cannabis Magazine: Do you have any plans for expansion nationally or globally?
Aaron Riley: Yes we are currently expanding in the US. We will have some big announcements out soon! Globally likely in the coming years.
Cannabis Magazine: What’s next for CannaSafe?
Aaron Riley: Next is we are going to continue to fortify our position as the go to testing lab in California with major market share. We will be fortifying those efforts with a second location that is in the works.
Cannabis Magazine: Thanks for talking with us Aaron!
Aaron Riley: Thanks for having me share our vision!