Alaska marijuana testing lab closes, leaving only 2 in state

Published: Apr. 1, 2018 at 11:32 AM AKDT
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One of only three marijuana testing labs in Alaska has shut down, leaving the state's cannabis growers with only two options for state-mandated testing.

Steep Hill Alaska, of Anchorage, declared in an Instagram post Thursday that the lab is "suspending cannabis testing operations on March 31, 2018."

The lab says it has to relocate after "Wells Fargo called in the loan on our building." The lab says the bank will foreclose the space if the lab does not move out.

Alaska Wells Fargo spokesman Brian Kennedy said by email, "It is currently Wells Fargo's policy not to knowingly bank marijuana businesses, based on federal laws under which the sale and use of marijuana is still illegal."

With Steep Hill's closure, Anchorage-based CannTest and Wasilla-based New Frontier Research now are the only available testing labs in the state.

CannTest CEO Mark Malagodi said that he's confident that his lab and the other can pick up any extra commercial or personal testing that might be needed in the near future.

"We regulate our capacity by how many employees we have. Right now we have enough employees to handle the capacity if and as more companies come online we'll be hiring more people. We'll just continue to keep pace with what's necessary, so you know we just need to step up to the capacity that's needed," said Malagodi.

Because Marijuana is still a federally illegal drug there's no regulation to the testing that must be performed on the controlled substance. Malagodi said the state doesn't determine how the tsts are done, meaning each lab has its own method of testing.