Cannalysis set to release data regarding vape-related illnesses and gains $22m in funding along the way

Cannalysis, a Southern California-based ISO accredited and state-licensed cannabis testing laboratory, raised $22m in Series A funding amidst a time where they are set to release their finding regarding ingredients in vape products that have recently been linked to diseases.

According to their website, Cannalysis is an accredited analytical cannabis laboratory service that use validated scientific methods to analyze cannabis products for cultivators, manufacturers, dispensaries, and individuals looking to know more about their products.

Founded in 2015 by Brian Lannon, he envisioned that these data can vary depending on the cannabis product sent out for testing. These data, in turn, can be used in order to objectively identify which elements in their products can customers benefit from.

The company also tracks cannabis products across its supply chain and provides data management and integration services for its customers so they can immediately update their own tracking systems with the results of Cannalysis’ tests. It also integrates directly with consumer services like Weedmaps, so consumers can get third party verification of the strength of the dosage.

Quality assurance for cannabis products isn’t just a matter of legal compliance. The percentage of THC that’s available in different strains can impact the price producers can charge for their product, Lannon says.

“The price of a cannabis product can vary greatly based on its potency,” he says. “Right now the number in the market is 20 percent. If your product tests at 18 percent instead of twenty percent, that can mean a huge difference in cost.”

The Santa Ana-based company raised the money from Canlab, a cannabis, hemp, and CBD testing laboratory network.

The unusually large raise for a lab also will help fund its ongoing robotic automation of cannabis testing services. The company also intends to use the funds to double the size of its headquarters and expand its presence into additional states.

“Cannabis and hemp testing is still in its nascent stages, and there’s an enormous market opportunity as legalization becomes more widespread and the utility of CBD products become more prevalent,” Cannalysis Executive Chairman Gary Hopkinson said in a statement.

The latest round of funding comes along as Cannalysis is preparing to bring a new test for vaping additives to the market.

The information from the said testing will tell about the presence and amount of Vitamin E acetate, a chemical compound that may be linked to the vaping related illness. Lannon said that the new product was developed in response to that current crisis whereas the cannabis industry has been affected over vape illnesses issues related to cannabis products.

“The big story that’s been going out over the last week isn’t the product that’s going out in cannabis, but an additive called Vitamin E acetate. We have developed a test for that,” Lannon says. “As part of the different compliance testing that’s required, it’s not mandated to test for any of these additives… What I’m anticipating based on the phone calls we’ve been getting is that a lot of our customers want to get the test to show that they’re not using the stuff.”

Earlier this month, the United States has been dealing with deaths said to be caused by vaping-related lung disease. At the end of August, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) issued a  joint statement addressing the growing number of cases of a respiratory illness possibly tied to vaping. 

The US government is now investigating 450 cases of vaping-related lung illnesses across 33 states and one U.S. territory. The CDC and FDA are leading the investigation. However, they have yet to link the illnesses to any specific vape product.

Meanwhile, health officials from New York said that in nearly all the cannabis-containing vaping products that they looked into, they found extremely high levels of the chemical, vitamin E acetate. They also found out that at least one vape product that they have examined contained this chemical and it is linked with one person who fell ill.

The vaping industry has blamed the rise of black market products. However, there has yet to be any proof that the potential cause is either because of legal or illegal vaping devices.

Back in June, San Francisco moved to ban all sales of vapes or e-cigarettes in the city amidst rising concerns over the uber-popularity of the product, especially among younger generations.

Hopefully, Cannalysis’ testing results will shed more light regarding the health risks posed by vapes. The company is reported to release such information later this week.

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