US (MT): "Current regulatory system allows licensees to overestimate THC potency and underestimate quantities"

Last year, in anticipation of a dramatic uptick in cannabis testing leading up to the legalization of adult-use cannabis sales, Stillwater Laboratories owners Ron and Kristine Brost increased the staff at their Olney facility to 30 employees to meet the predicted surge in demand.

Despite the flood of new dispensaries and the millions of dollars in sales in its first year, the Brosts say they have only seen about a 10% increase in business and recently downsized their staff to 22 employees. “We just haven’t seen the volume we were expecting,” Ron said.

Stillwater Laboratories is one of four in the state that is responsible for testing things like pesticides, contaminants, and THC concentration in cannabis samples, working directly with dispensary licensees. Each lab is required to use Metrc, a regulatory software system that the Montana Department of Revenue Cannabis Control Division contracts with to track seed-to-sale inventory and sales.

After comparing test numbers and year-to-date sales, which the state estimates at more than $200 million since legalization took effect and a roughly 200% increase in sales, Ron says the numbers don’t add up; conversely, testing at his lab has barely changed since January 1st.

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