My Roommate, the Weed Chemist

Article by Ciara Dolan, The Portland Mercury


MY ROOMMATE Emily Weatherford is the Ms. Frizzle of weed science—she’s a chemist at Portland’s Green Leaf Lab (, which tests cannabis before it’s legally allowed to be sold at dispensaries. From my very basic understanding of the weed business, legalization labs have been scrambling to get accredited by ORELAP (Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program) before the October deadline. The accreditation process is happening as you read this, but Green Leaf was one of the first in the state to receive its official certification and OLCC marijuana testing license.

I recently sat down with Emily and her boss, Green Leaf’s Chief Science Officer Eric Wendt, to talk about weed science and the accreditation process in layman’s terms.

MERCURY: What’s the position of a lab in the food chain of consumer weed?
WEATHERFORD: We work with anyone from growers, to people who extract cannabis to make concentrates, to people who make cannabis products like edibles, but we also sometimes work with dispensaries as well. Anyone who would like to sell their weed legally in Oregon has to have it tested by an accredited lab. We’re in the flow of things right before products can go to the dispensary, but we work with just about every single source of cannabis.

What specifically are you testing it for?
WEATHERFORD: We’re testing for potency for the cannabinoids, so letting people know what kind of dosage they’re going to get, and we’re checking for pesticides.

WENDT: The required testing depends on the product type. The new rules break up products into three different categories: useable marijuana, concentrates or extracts, and cannabinoid products—[these] are ancillary, down the road-type products, whether it’s topicals, creams, edibles, anything that has an extract or concentrate product added to it to medicate it in some way.

Read full article here.

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