Pathogenia opened its doors in 2017, the vision of long-time analytical food safety expert Prasant Prusty who has over a quarter century of experience working in the lab industry.
Pathogenia started as a lab dedicated mostly to food safety testing but with capabilities for so much more. As the company’s reputation grew, it broadened its scope and started working in other spaces, testing other areas such as livestock and animal feed, environmental testing, pathogen testing in crops and plants and much more.
When Bill C-45 was first introduced as an idea, Pathogenia recognized the emerging need for cannabis testing labs and began preparing. As soon as legislation was passed in 2018, they applied for their licence and adjusted their infrastructure to be able to engage testing of cannabis products.
“The need for cannabis testing labs started even before the legalisation of cannabis in 2018,” says Prusty, the company’s founder. “People started preparing for this back in 2016-17 when Bill C-45 was first introduced as just an idea. LPs and labs alike were standing by for the application procedure for licencing. As soon as it was passed in 2018, it was like the floodgates opened. We applied for the licencing immediately and began to adjust our infrastructure to be able to properly test cannabis products.”
Prusty says as more producers and labs enter the market, finding the right fit that works for both parties is key. Having a partnership with a lab who understands the regulations and understands the priorities of each individual producer they work with can be the difference between success and failure, especially when dealing with results that may show a batch or crop that is out of compliance.
“I think one of the largest issues the cannabis industry faces from the point of view of the LP in regards to testing is finding not just a lab that is accredited to test your products but more finding a ‘testing partner’. It’s not enough to just send your product out and receive CoAs and that’s it.
“In my experience, there is a requirement for follow up calls and having experts like our staff available to interpret results and consult on any possible issues such as results that are out of compliance. One of the most devastating things for an LP is to learn that there is an issue with their product and no one is willing to help find where the issue came from and how to fix it which is what we do for all of our customers. When I say “testing partner”, that’s what I mean.”
He also adds that Pathogenia strives to have one of the fastest turnaround times in the industry.
“One of our unique selling points is that we try to provide the best turnaround time, where other laboratories are not very flexible in the marketplace. This is a common complaint, that the lab can take two to three weeks to get the result, and that’s where we try to excel on our end.”
Another issue common to the industry Prusty says Pathogenia tries to address, is a fair price for that partnership. The “cannabis tax” many producers have become used to, with contractors or other partners sometimes charging much more than they would for non-cannabis industry clients, exists in the analytical cannabis testing lab side of things, too.
“Another issue is fair pricing,” continues Prusty. “I am finding a troubling trend in the cannabis industry is price gouging and not just for testing. Without going into detail, we think our prices are extremely competitive. One of the main pillars that Pathogenia was built on was to keep pricing as fair as possible. We do have our bottom line to worry about but Pathogenia is an extremely lean business with almost no unnecessary internal costs. We pass those savings on to our customers to provide them with quality service at a fair price.”
“I like to say we are a one stop shop for anything cannabis testing related. We can test for all Health Canada required tests for lot release as well as a number of qualitative tests for LPs to have more insight into their products. We test dried, fresh, edibles, topicals, oils and extracts. We also provide environmental monitoring of our customer’s facilities if need be which could include soil, fertilizer, water, packaging material, disease scanning etc.”
One important question for cannabis producers to ask, adds Prusty, is ensuring that the results they get from the lab partners are accurate.
“What we do on our end at Pathogenia is to make the results reliable and repeatable so that the variability of results are minimized. We also take the time to ensure we have verified our matrixes for various cannabis products, from fresh or dried cannabis to all the cannabis by products available, so that we have a solid baseline for every product we test.”
Content Sponsored by: Pathogenia Labs