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PhytaTech is Now Part of Evio Labs

Located in Denver, CO, PhytaTech has been an industry leader in Colorado as both a licensed medical and retail (adult use) testing provider, servicing licensed cultivators and manufacturers of infused products (“MIPs”) since 2014. In September 2017, PhytaTech CO, LLC entered into a technology license agreement with EVIO Labs Colorado to utilize EVIO Labs’ proprietary testing methods.

 

PhytaTech EVIO Labs is the leading national provider of accredited cannabis testing, providing high quality analytical and consulting services for agricultural and biomedical industries in the United States.

 

EVIO, Inc. is a life sciences company focused on analyzing cannabis as a means for improving quality of life. The Company provides analytical testing services, advisory services and performs product research in its accredited laboratory testing facilities. The Company’s EVIO Labs division operating coast-to-coast provides state-mandated ancillary services to ensure the safety and quality of the nation’s cannabis supply. EVIO Labs is dedicated to providing clients with superior customer service, reliable results, and world class expertise. 

 

For more information, visit www.eviolabs.com

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2018 Testing Guide

2018 Testing Guide for Marijuana Cultivation (403 & 403R)

Mandated Harvest Batch Testing in 2018:

*NEW* Sample-Size Requirements for Harvest Batch Testing {Rule (R)1504}:

ONE TAG for all tests now! Starting Jan 1st you will need to randomly sample multiple 0.5g samples from each harvest batch, and combine them as ONE SAMPLE to submit for ALL testing. Note: Harvest Batches should be strain-specific, i.e. the MED will no longer allow combined batch micro tests—there will now be one set of tests per strain per harvest batch. How much do you need to send in now? It depends on how large your harvest batch is. See below for MED requirements.

• If your harvest batch is…

Getting Process Validation in 2018 {Rule (R)1501}:

POTENCY: Each strain that a facility cultivates must be tested 4 times, each test a minimum of a week apart

MICRO: Per Facility—valid for one year unless a facility changes processes. Every harvest batch produced between a 6-12 week period must pass micro contaminant testing (must be at least 6 harvest batches)

 

Minimum Required Testing After Getting Process Validated {Rule (R)1501}:

POTENCY: Each strain must be tested ONCE every 3 months (quarterly) after process validation

MICRO: One Harvest Batch must be tested every 30 days to maintain Process Validation

• Process Validation verification test samples have the same sample-size requirements as above—submit the full amount for each strain

• If the Process Validation Verification Test Samples Fail:

∙ Submit 2 new samples for retest—BOTH must pass
∙ Must retest 3 additional harvest batch samples within 30 days after failure to maintain validation

 

2018 Testing Guide for MIPs—Concentrates (404 & 404R)

Mandated Concentrate Testing in 2018:

*NEW* Sample-Size Requirements for Production Batch Testing {Rule (R)1504}:

ONE TAG for all tests now!  Starting Jan 1st you will need to randomly sample multiple 0.5g samples from each production batch, and combine them as ONE SAMPLE to submit for ALL testing. Note: Concentrates need to be submitted in METRC as weight-based packages, i.e. grams or Oz, not “each”. How much do you need to send in? It depends on how large your production batch is. See below for MED requirements.

•  If your batch is…

 

Getting Process Validation in 2018 {Rule (R)1501}:

POTENCY: Per item—valid for one year unless the facility changes production processes for that item. Every production batch produced for each specific concentrate being validated must pass all potency testing during a 4-8 week period (must be at least four test batches)

RSA or MICRO: Per Facility—is valid for one year unless a facility changes processes. Every production batch produced between a 4-8 week period must pass residual solvent contaminant testing (must be at least 4 production batches)

 

Minimum Required Testing After Getting Process Validated {Rule (R)1501}:

RSA or MICRO: Each production batch must be tested once every 30 days to maintain Process Validation

•   Process Validation verification test samples have the same sample-size requirements as above—submit the full amount for each batch

•   If Process Validation Verification Test Samples Fail:

∙   Submit 2 new samples for retest—BOTH must pass
∙   Must retest the next 3 batches produced within 30 days after failure to keep process validation

 

2018 Testing Guide for MIPs—Edibles (404 & 404R)

Mandated Edible Testing in 2018:

NEW Sample-Size Requirements for Production Batch Testing {Rule (R)1504}:

ONE TAG for all tests now! Edibles need to be packaged for sale when sent in for testing and submitted in METRC for testing as count-based, i.e. “1 each” would be “1 bottle of tablets”, not “1 tablet”, etc. How much do you need to send in? It depends on how large each production batch is. See below for MED requirements.

•     If your production batch is… 

Getting Process Validation in 2018 {Rule (R)1503}:

POTENCY & HOMOGENEITY: Per item—valid for one year unless the facility changes processing for that item. Every production batch produced for each particular type of edible being validated must pass all potency and homogeneity testing during a 4-8 week period (must be at least four test batches).

MICRO: Per Facility—is valid for one year unless a facility changes processes. Every production batch produced between a 4-8 week period must pass residual solvent contaminant testing (must be at least 4 production batches)

 

Minimum Required Testing After Getting Process Validated {Rule (R)1501 & (R)1503}:

POTENCY/ HOMOGENEITY & MICRO: Each item must be tested once every 3 months

•   Process Validation verification test samples have the same sample-size requirements as above—submit the full amount required for each batch

•   If Process Validation Verification Test Samples Fail:

∙   Submit 2 new samples for retest—BOTH must pass
∙   Must retest the next 3 batches produced within 30 days after failure to keep process validation

 

For more information, contact us

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Year-End Update

What a year it has been at PhytaTech. In 2017 we’ve tested almost 30,000 Cannabis samples, achieved ISO-17025 certification and continued to offer more tests, with faster turnaround time, than any other laboratory in Colorado! As we end 2017 and move into 2018, PhytaTech would like to update you on our completed goals of 2017 as well as our new goals for 2018.

 

In 2017 we sent out notifications on genomic testing, Client Portal updates, product formulations, pesticide safety training, featured articles on the laboratory, Aflatoxin/Mycotoxin testing, ISO certification, and MED rulemaking updates. A lot has been accomplished! We feel we are well positioned to continue to offer improved services, including expanded testing, for the upcoming year. We are also the most audited laboratory in the State of Colorado, perhaps even the nation, after our ISO certifications, CDPHE and MED audits, and Patients First Certification (Americans for Safe Access).

Come experience what the regulators all agree to regarding PhytaTech Lab; ie high quality systems, defensible data, fast turnaround, and friendly service.

 

In our ongoing cycles of improvement and growth, PhytaTech anticipates the following tests coming online during the first and second quarters of 2018:

 

   • Aflatoxin Testing (Tentatively Feb. 2018)

   • Heavy Metals Testing (End of 2018)

   • Pesticide Testing (Tentatively Feb. 2018)

   • Medical Residual Solvent Contamination     (01.01.2018)

   • Medical Microbial Contamination (Early 2018)

 

It has been quite a journey, growing with the pace that we have in 2017 and we have only you, our clients, to thank for our progress. So please take a few minutes next time you are dropping off samples to meet our staff and tour our facilities. We’re sure you will like what you see and what you hear.

 

As we transition into 2018, please let us know if you’d like to rush your samples as we do have holiday days coming up on the calendar.

 

Thank you for your support and Happy New Year!

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Accreditation to ISO/IES 17025 Standards Through A2LA

PhytaTech is ISO-17025 Certified!

 

PhytaTech is proud to announce its accreditation to ISO/IES 17025 standards through A2LA (the American Association Laboratories Accreditation). PhytaTech’s scope of work under the ISO-17025 accreditation allows us to perform the following types of tests on cannabis (marijuana) flower, concentrate, topical, and edible products from state licensed medical, recreational, and hemp customers:

 

Chemical

Cannabinoid Potency Analysis

Residual Solvent Contamination

 

Biological

E.Coli – qPCR

Salmonella – qPCR

Total Yeast and Molds – Plating     

    

PhytaTech is one of only eight ISO-17025 accredited laboratories in the United States of America and one of the few in Colorado to include full Potency, RSA and Microbial Contamination testing on it’s scope of work. The ISO standard requires quality management systems, technical systems, and procedures to ensure quality data is delivered to our clients every time. You’ve always noted PhytaTech’s consistent, quick results and now you have the internationally recognized ISO-17025 quality standard behind your data.

 

We’re proud of our accomplishments and you should be too.

 

Thank you for your support and Happy Holidays!

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Cannabis Testing Updates

There is a lot changing in Cannabis testing in 2018 and PhytaTech is here to support your testing needs.

 

Here is a direct link to the MED Adopted rules for both Retail and Medical Marijuana.

 

Of note, significant changes to the Residual Solvent Contamination test include new solvents and new regulatory limits, mycotoxin testing language is included, pesticide testing of flowers/trim is mentioned, and Residual Solvent Contamination testing and Microbial contamination testing of medical marijuana products will soon be enacted. The MED will send industry bulletins when Mycotoxins, Pesticides and Medical Marijuana Microbial testing will become mandatory.  Medical RSA mandate begins 01.01.2018.

 

New Residual Solvent Limits Are (Effective 01.01.2018):

 

Acetone < 1,000 ppm

Butanes (n-butane and iso-butane) < 1,000 ppm

Ethanol < 1,000 ppm (For inhaled products only)

Heptanes < 1,000 ppm

Isopropyl Alcohol < 1,000 ppm

Propane < 1,000 ppm

Benzene < 2 ppm

Toluene < 180 ppm

Pentane < 1,000 ppm

Hexane < 60 ppm

Total Xylenes (m, p, o-xylenes) < 430 ppm

 

New Pesticide limits are (not effective until MED industry bulletin published):

 

Abamectin (Avermectins: B1a & B1b) < 70 ppb

Azoxystrobin < 20 ppb

Bifenzate < 20 ppb

Etoxazole < 10 ppb

Imazalil < 40 ppb

Imidacloprid < 20 ppb

Malathion < 50 ppb

Myclobutanil < 40 ppb

Permethrin (isomeric mix) < 40 ppb

Spinosad (Mixture of A & D) < 60 ppb

Spiromesifen < 30 ppb

Spirotetramat < 20 ppb

Tebuconazole < 10 ppb

 

New mycotoxin limits are (not effective until MED industry bulletin published):

Aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, and G2) < 20 ppb (Sum of all)

Ochratoxin A < 20 ppb

 

Remember test batches are to be 4 to 14.5 grams based on the size of your batch and you will need to submit these in one container, already homogenized. There is also rolling testing required after you receive process validation so make sure to submit samples to stay compliant!

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Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly Practices in the Cannabis Industry

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In sticking with an ever-present theme of being on the cutting edge of everything, there is increasing interest in more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in the cannabis industry, as there should be.  There are new approaches and resources emerging everyday to help reduce organic waste and create alternative solutions to compliant packaging which can generate a huge amount of plastic waste. To emphasize the importance of sustainability, Denver Environmental Health has created a Cannabis Sustainability group (link below).

 

Here at PhytaTech we are taking steps to be conscious of the impact we are making on our planet. Some of the small steps we have taken recently include switching to recycled paper towels as well as biodegradable nitrile gloves (they are cheaper than the regular nitrile gloves we were using and they are the color green!). We also recycle over 2 cubic yards of recyclables every 2 weeks! We would like to encourage our clients to take whatever steps they can to reduce waste without breaking the bank.

 

We feel that one area this could be achieved is in the way you package samples to be sent to the lab. This also helps us with storage space as we are required to retain samples in a secure storage for at least 3 months past their manifest date. Below are photo examples of some ways to submit samples that would reduce both plastic waste and storage space. If possible, see if you can source biodegradable plastic bags/containers where you can. Also, feel free to make sure we give you back your child proof bags or boxes that you bring your samples in. These go right into the recycling waste stream as we don’t normally have the need for outgoing packaging materials.

 

Here are some other resources to help guide you in becoming a truly green business! As always, give us a call with any questions or other suggestions/resources to help you with your sustainability goals:

 

Denver Environmental Health Cannabis Sustainability Website  

A Lab Manager’s Guide to Sustainable Lab Practices from the publication, Lab Manager

Biodegradable nitrile gloves

 

I encourage you all to look into other resources that are more relevant and tailored to your particular business needs such as the recent article in Marijuana Venture Magazine (December 2017) about using Bokashi, a completely natural way to reduce, reuse and recycle organic waste by a method of acidic anaerobic fermentation.

 

Some of these may seem like small steps but if everyone takes a few small steps, in time, together we can make a very big impact! 

 

Remember, we can have a profitable industry as well as do our part to save the environment. If you have any sampling or packaging questions, call or email today!

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PhytaTech Now Offers a HPLC Method

PhytaTech is proud to announce it now offers a HPLC method, which detects and quantitates Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A (OTA) in cannabis flowers and concentrates!

The specific molecules included in our internally validated method are:

1.    Aflatoxin B1
2.    Aflatoxin G1
3.    Aflatoxin B2
4.    Aflatoxin G2
5.    Ochratoxin A

 

Aflatoxins and ochratoxins are secondary metabolites created by certain Aspergillus fungal species and are known carcinogens in extremely low levels. Aflatoxins have been classified as group 1 carcinogens, which is the highest classification a substance can receive. A statistically significant increase in the incidence of hepatocellular (liver) cancer has been linked to aflatoxin exposure at 20 parts per billion (ppb) and higher.

 

They exhibit their genotoxic effects by altering the human p53 tumor suppressor gene and by binding to albumin (an abundant drug binding protein in blood). Common testing protocols exist in other industries to monitor these dangerous small molecules as food products enter the human consumption chain. The FDA mandates that food products intended for human consumption must not exceed 20 ppb for total aflatoxins. Aflatoxin testing in cannabis is mandated in other states such as Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, and New Mexico. These states have limits of 20 ppb for aflatoxins and OTA.

 

Although OTA testing is not mandated by the FDA, the European Commission has set Ochratoxin A limits from as low as 0.5 ppb to 80 ppb depending on the food classification (cereal-based infant food and licorice extract, for example). OTA has been linked to a specific, fatal kidney disease called Balkan Endemic Nephropathy. Other processes involved with OTA that contribute to its carcinogenicity involve its ability to cause breaks in DNA strands and inhibit DNA repair mechanisms.

 

These molecules are heat stable and maintain their molecular structures at temperatures below 160°C. Therefore, it is important to know whether these harmful substances exist in any harvest batch prior to any processing of cannabis material. If they are present in cannabis flower, then they can be concentrated during the extraction process to make cannabis concentrates and eventually consumed in cannabis edibles!

 

Importantly, through genomic testing, we have detected the fungal strains known to produce these molecules in Colorado cannabis flowers! Don’t delay, ensure your products are safe for human consumption.

PhytaTech asks for samples sizes of 1.0 gram for both flowers and concentrates to perform this testing. Feel free to call the lab if you would like to know more about our procedures for Aflatoxin and Ochratoxin testing at PhytaTech. If you’d like to hear more about our value-added test capabilities, tests we’re bringing on line, or our long-term projects, please contact us.

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Resources

Aflatoxins. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 100F.
Available at https://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol100F/mono100F-23.pdf .

 

Federal Drug and Food Administration (1994). FDA Mycotoxin Regulatory Guidance: A Guide for Grain Elevators, Feed Manufacturers, Grain Processors and Exporters. Washington D.C.: National Grain and Feed Association, pp.1-15.

 

Pfohl-Leszkowicz, A., & Manderville, R. A. (2007). Ochratoxin A: An overview on toxicity and carcinogenicity in animals and humans. Molecular Nutrition Food Research, 51, 61-99. doi:10.1002/mnfr.200600137

 

Rough, Lisa. “Leafly’s State-by-state Guide to Cannabis Testing Regulations.” Leafly. March 4, 2016.  Accessed September 15, 2017. https://www.leafly.com/news/industry/leaflys-state-by-state-guide-to-cannabis-testing-regulations.

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Welcome to the PhytaTech Blog

Welcome to PhytaTechSM CO LLC. We hope you like the new look and feel of our website, and our services. We strive to be the fastest laboratory in the industry. Please feel free to ask us about our turnaround time. The next time you’re dropping off samples, also ask for a laboratory tour. We love to show off our facilities, meet you, and discuss our tests. We’ve built a LIMS system and a client portal website to save our customers as much time as possible. Please see the client portal section of our website for more information. Lastly, we are certified to test for potency, residual solvent contamination and microbial contamination; all the required tests for the State of Colorado. Fast, Friendly, Efficient and Comprehensive, that is what PhytaTechSM is. Please sign up to receive our news feed and get email alerts about our progress. Also, subscribe to our Newsletter to stay connected to all new testing information at PhytaTechSM.

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Regulatory News

PhytaTechSM is certified by the CO MED & CDPHE for Potency Testing, Residual Solvent Testing and Microbial Contamination Testing.

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