New cannabis testing lab begins the accreditation process

The facility will be Jackson based and company leaders say the main focus is patient safety
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 11:00 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A new cannabis testing lab based out of Jackson is beginning the accreditation process. 3 On Your Side talked with the president and co-founder about the testing facility and what it means for patient peace and safety.

Steep Hill Mississippi is the first lab to begin the ISO Accreditation process in this state.

Cliff Osbon said, “So Steep Hill is one of the oldest marijuana testing labs in the nation based in California. So we licensed with Steep Hill to be Steep Hill Mississippi.”

The group has licensed with Steep Hill to become Steep Hill Mississippi.
The group has licensed with Steep Hill to become Steep Hill Mississippi.(Steep Hill Mississippi)

Osbon, the president and co-founder of the company, explains what testing means for patients who use medical cannabis.

“In pharmacy practice, for years I saw people that needed something else that we didn’t have. And while medical marijuana is not a panacea, it doesn’t solve every problem, it is a great option for some patients that they just haven’t had. I would say now, but really soon, soon later this year, they’ll have that option,” Osbon said.

Osbon is a licensed pharmacist who worked in pharmacy for 30 years.

Osbon says his hope is we don't have to look at more people and say I'm sorry you just have to...
Osbon says his hope is we don't have to look at more people and say I'm sorry you just have to suffer.(WLBT)

Osbon said, “I would hope that we don’t have to look at more people and say, ‘I’m sorry you just have to suffer.’ Almost everyone that I meet that’s in this industry has a personal story and I have a personal story. I have a family member who passed from a brain tumor and they couldn’t have access to medical marijuana when they were in hospice care and, you know, had she been able to have it her suffering would have been greatly diminished, I believe.”

The testing at Steep Hill Facilities has been approved in nine states, Canada and Mexico. Construction is underway at the facility Steep Hill Mississippi will use.

“We are finalizing our instrument order. There’s a lot of testing instruments that you have to order for testing. And since the state published the testing regulations a couple of weeks ago, now we know what to buy, we know how to spend that million dollars or whatever that number is and then we’re close to finalizing our decision on a lead chemist who will manage our facility and help hire the rest of the staff. After we’ve done all those things and spent all that money and invested that time and energy, then we will apply for a license with the state,” said Osbon.

Osbon says the testing will be extensive.

Osbon said, “First of all, we’ll have to test for the potency of THC, the primary ingredient. We’ll have to test for some other chemical compounds that are in the product called terpenes that help augment the effect of the THC. We’ll test for bacteria and mold and fungus. Needs to be none of that. We’ll test for pesticides, there needs to be none of that. We’ll test for heavy metal contamination, because God-forbid that be in the water or in the growing medium, there’s some lead or something like that.”

Osbon says the testing facility is an investment to insure safety for Mississippi patients. Osbon says he believes there will be other testing facilities in the state and there should be more than one.

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