Soon after Michigan voters approved the use of medical marijuana for certified patients in 2008, three metro Detroit entrepreneurs saw the need for a state-approved medicinal testing center. According to various studies, medical marijuana can decrease anxiety, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and ease the pain from multiple sclerosis.
In 2011, the trio opened Iron Laboratories in Walled Lake, which today tests cannabis for certified growers, caregivers, and patients. Business has been brisk, with sales doubling each year. The company recently opened an office and lab in Eugene, Ore., and is looking to add locations in Portland, Ore., and Florida next year.
“We test very small samples for impurities like bacteria and mold, as well as determining purity and potency,” says Mike Goldman, COO of Iron Laboratories. “Since we use various solutions in our tests, the samples are destroyed. We also help growers with their farming techniques. So far, we’ve tested more than 30,000 samples.”
The company has 11 employees in Michigan, including Goldman’s partners Howard Lutz, president and CEO, and Rob Teitel, vice president. The office in Oregon has four employees.
“The benefit of testing for certified patients is that they know the cannabis they’re using is safe,” Teitel says. “It’s also a stamp of approval for growers, which they can use in their marketing campaigns.” db