Just a few years ago, Malorie La Fuente saw the potential of Nevada’s emergent cannabis industry.
But she also recognized it needed a major shake-up.
Nevada’s early start program and the 55 million visitors who travel to Las Vegas each year have driven cannabis sales through the roof, generating $700 million in the 2020 fiscal year alone.
But while retail dispensaries have responded to the demand with rapid growth, the number of testing facilities has decreased due to suspensions and closures.
Bad practices, such as lab-shopping, results-manipulation, and other types of fraud, have messed up the state’s lab testing segment and are now threatening the progress of the industry itself.
“Protecting the industry means regulating and maintaining transparent and safe goods for consumers. If we don’t protect the industry, we could potentially risk moving backward from the progression we have already worked so hard to create,” Malorie lamented.
Having an extensive background in pharmacological analytics and laboratory science, Malorie knew she had to do something.
“With my background, I knew what I had to do…. Open a testing facility.”
Malorie is bringing her 10-year professional experience in managing hospital pathology and reference laboratories with this endeavor.
Add to that her comprehensive familiarity with the strict standards and applications to operate an efficient and quality scientific testing laboratory.
“When medicinal cannabis became legal in the state of Nevada, it was exciting to me initially from a sociological perspective. For my entire life, cannabis has always been a schedule I narcotic and to see that we were moving past a prohibition state, so to speak, this transition caught my attention.”
She explained that this is why maintaining the integrity and keeping products microbial-free are essential in protecting the industry. Third-party testing labs would provide this reassurance.
“A product containing any sort of heavy metal or pesticide has the potential to cause severe neurological disorders with both short and long-term consumption and exposure. These are only a few repercussions to selling unsafe products to consumers.”
Malorie shared that she once overheard a cannabis business owner complaining about having to pay money to test his products. She said that it pushed her to the edge of wanting to get into the industry.
“This infuriated me for obvious public health reasons. I decided to explore getting into the testing business.”
Malorie would soon find Desert Cannalytix’s huge missing puzzle piece in finance professional Bonito Sahagun.
“Upon meeting him, I had no clue, he would be accompanying me for the long haul as he originally was simply offering friendly advice. He has helped overcome huge hurdles that would have been near impossible without him.”
The duo has come a long way since then.
- Desert Cannalytix has started developing an innovative results-tracking platform that utilizes barcode technology to track processes. This app is designed to be transparent to enable better and more reliable monitoring. More features are planned to be added during development.
- The team has secured partnerships with technology and tools providers for the equipment necessary to run an effective CBD/hemp laboratory. Two of the most trusted analytical equipment providers, Perkin Elmer and PathogenDX have signed on board as vendors.
- The team is currently working on a lab prototype and is planning to work with company Merj Architecture, which specializes in the cannabis industry.
- The company is also beefing up the team with the potential hiring of lab consultants to assist in the initial setup and ensure laboratory accreditation.
Malorie, Bonito, and the Desert Cannalytix team are now looking to shape the CBD/Hemp market in Nevada with the upcoming launch of a state-of-the-art testing lab in Las Vegas.