Despite delays in licensing and pending litigation, the Illinois cannabis industry continues to expand. With or without the state of Illinois moving forward, entrepreneurs and new businesses are filling the industry’s current and future demands.
One of those companies is Origo Labs.
From Latin, origo means “origin,” which fits the new business. Origo Labs is the first known premier cannabis, CBD, and hemp analytical, and microbiological testing services in Illinois to open for registered medical patients.
Based out of the north side of Chicago, Origo Labs offers a full suite of testing through validated, accredited, and defensible methodologies. Testing includes cannabinoid potency, residual solvents, microbiological impurities, heavy metal, pesticide screening, terpene profiling, moisture activity, and mycotoxin analysis.
Origo Labs, accredited and licensed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, has performed various regulated and complex testing in the cannabis, CBD, and hemp industry.
Owners Tim Cash and Naren Hariharan have been working with larger cultivators to better understand and improve methodology and best practices, but they also see a great opportunity to get more involved in testing registered Illinois patients’ homegrown medicine.
“I know a lot of (medical patient) home growers who have come to me, and said, ‘We didn’t even know that was an option for us,’” said Cash.
But now the option for Illinois medical patients to test terpenes, potency, and safety of each new batch of medicine is available.
Cash and Hariharan want to ensure the medicine Illinois patients grow is pure and safe for consumption. The cannabis testing industry has very few players in the market, and in Cash’s opinion, that has brought complacency.
“I think there is a lot of room for innovation and a lot of room for improvement, especially in the transparency side of things,” said Cash. “There’s a lot of gray area in terms of what is the best (practices in the industry) and that is brining in a lot of inconsistencies. We’re here to challenge that.”
Cash and Hariharan believe it is extremely important to have a reputable testing lab ensuring 100 percent safety for the Illinois cannabis market.
“Everything we do is rooted in science,” Cash said, “and we have an experienced leadership team that comes from a diverse background in lab environments, operations, marketing, quality, and regulatory.”
Origo Labs is led by a group of professionals with backgrounds in chemistry, product development, regulatory compliance, operations, and new business development. The founders have always believed in the power of cannabis as being a force for good that can truly help and make a positive impact on a community, and they want to help diminish the unwarranted stigma behind cannabis.
Ultimately, Origo Labs wants to help craft growers as well.
“It’s really frustrating for us that the licenses continuously get delayed,” said Cash, “because those were the people we were supper exited to be working with, the smaller mom-and-pop type shops that are growing higher quality strains that are not very common. That’s the only way they are going to compete in the market…They are going to have to create very unique and very refined awesome strains.”
Along with the executive team, Origo Labs has five employees, including a lab director, lab techs, and sample collectors.
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