Greenway Best of the Industry: MoCann Testing, Best Testing Facility
Testing and labs often don’t get the attention that other facilities and operators in the cannabis industry do, but in many ways, these facilities represent the most integral part of a medical program.
Greenway recently spoke to Natalie Brown, Director of Operations for MoCann Testing, about the group being recognized as Best Testing Facility by Greenway readers and what patients should know about testing.
“We are the gateway between final products being transferred to a dispensary for final sale,” Brown explained. “MoCann Testing takes extreme pride in that as we want to ensure patients have access to SAFE medicine. It is extremely important that patients understand aspects associated with the results and the organization that tested the product. Ask budtenders for COAs (certificate of analysis). This outlines all the testing performed on that specific product. This will give them insight to additional information that may or may not be on the label of the product. Additionally, patients should understand aspects of the organization who tested the product.”
Brown said patients should ask themselves:
What do I know about the company that tested this product?
Do they have their ISO 17025 accreditation?
Do these results make sense?
For Brown and the team at MoCann Testing, 2021 was a year of milestones. “As the company began operating in late Q4 of 2020, 2021 was our first full year of testing! We received our ISO 17025 accreditation (specifies the general requirements for the competence, impartiality and consistent operation of laboratories). We added 4 employees which helped us accommodate the increased demand. We also created our own portal for our clients so they can have on-demand access to Certificates of Analysis and results,” she said.
What about your MoCann Testing differentiates you from others in Missouri?
MoCann Testing is a division of EKG Labs, a pharmaceutical and medical device testing facility that partners with companies looking to get their product through the FDA regulation process. We are also 100% Missouri-owned and operated. When we decided to jump into this endeavor, we wanted to make sure we brought our passion for analytical testing and understanding of stringent regulatory expectations to the Missouri medical marijuana market. Our strong foundation in numerous analytical techniques, our adherence to cGMP/GLP regulations, and years of practical experience gives us the tools to help our clients achieve their goals and to ensure patients feel confident in the safety of this medicine when consuming.
What endears your company to patients and others in the industry?
Our mission and our core values.
Our mission: to help individuals across the state ensure they have access to safe medical marijuana through accurate sample testing and quality results.
How do we do that?
MoCann Testing is dedicated to providing innovative analytical solutions to its partners in the cannabis industry through trusted relationships built on quality, knowledge, and integrity. Our company was built on eight fundamental core values, and we are committed to and passionate about retaining those values.
- MoCann Testing is more than just a lab that meets regulatory requirements, we take quality a step further. Although we understand that timeliness is critical, we never sacrifice quality for time. We strive to provide each client with a scientific reason and understanding of the product as a whole.
- Integrity is two-fold, data and ethical integrity. MoCann Testings’ data integrity is ensured by beginning with a solid understanding of the problem, full documentation of all activities performed, and 100% review of all data generated. Our ethical integrity is demonstrated in how we interact with our colleagues, clients and the community, each and every day.
- MoCann Testing believes that a program can only be successful through partnerships with our client. We embed ourselves in understanding the client’s needs, regulatory requirements and product stage, treating each product as if it was our own. This product ownership separates us from other analytical service providers.
- Our clients trust us with their most critical asset: their product. At MoCann Testing, we realize that the product is the client’s lifeline and trust with it should be earned. We make every decision with this in mind and never take this value for granted.
- MOCann Testing is more than an analytical laboratory, we are a solutions provider. We take the time to understand each product and any challenges the client may be facing.
- With over 80 years of combined experience working on pharmaceutical and medical device products, the team at MoCann Testing provides our clients with peace of mind that the sample testing will get done right.
- At MoCann Testing, our clients are the priority. We believe that emails should not sit in inboxes nor voicemails go unanswered; we strive to provide a response within one business day or less.
- The standard at MoCann Testing is to think outside of the box. We differentiate ourselves by utilizing all of our tools to get answers in the most direct and efficient manner as possible.
Can you tell Greenway readers about some of the employees or leadership that have contributed to MoCann Testing’s success?
Jennifer Eagan– Director of Regulatory and Compliance/Founding Member
After graduating from the University of Missouri – Saint Louis in 2000, Ms. Eagan began her career working as a Quality Assurance Associate at the Missouri-Illinois Region of the America Red Cross. In 2007, Ms. Eagan accepted a similar role at Cyanta Analytical Services where she co-established and managed their Quality System. In 2010, Ms. Eagan was promoted to Director of Quality Assurance and became solely responsible for maintaining, enforcing, and defending their Quality System. Ms. Eagan has an immaculate quality record as she has hosted several Regulatory Inspections with zero observations.
Dr. Allen Kesselring– Chief Science Officer/Founding Member
A native of the state, Dr. Allen Kesselring has spent his professional career working with, developing test methods for, and managing the testing of medical products and scheduled substances here in Missouri. As a local, it is notable that he has a deep understanding of and value for the critical eye and implicit demand for evidence that is woven within the “Show-Me State” creed.
As Chief Science Officer of Missouri Cannabis Testing (MCT), a division of EKG Labs, Dr. Kesselring is actively overseeing the development and implementation of Missouri rule compliant, cannabis test methods. These methods are critical for the successful clearance of safe and effective cannabis based medicinal treatments here in Missouri.
As a Principal of MCT/EKG Labs, Dr. Kesselring also has uniquely positioned science-based businessinsight and interest in the Missouri Medicinal Cannabis Testing Industry. While testing is the foundation and backbone of Medicinal Cannabis product safety and efficacy, Dr. Kesselring also deeply understands the need to find efficient intersection of patient and industry requirements and will work towards policy and protocols that resourcefully meet the needs of both suppliers and patients.
Katie Grayson-Chief Executive Officer/Founding Member
In 2017, Ms. Grayson completed Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses National Program at Babson College where she enhanced her natural leadership ability, negotiation skills and experience in building a company. This program is designed to create jobs and economic opportunities by providing access to education, capital and business support services. To date, more than 10,000 business owners have graduated from the program across all 50 states in the US, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. Katie serves as the Chief Executive Officer for MoCann Testing, the state’s first operational medical marijuana testing laboratory!
Natalie Brown–Director of Operations
Ms. Natalie Brown began her career at EKG Labs, an analytical laboratory that supports medical device and pharmaceutical companies seeking to fast-track their product development, upon graduating from Missouri Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. She executed procedures according to cGXP regulations, worked with various DEA controlled substances, and maintained, operated, and qualified analytical instruments.
In 2019, Natalie proposed expanding into new areas, and she worked together with EKG’s founding members to add a medical marijuana division to company, Missouri Cannabis Testing. MoCann Testing’s mission is to help individuals across the state ensure they have access to safe medical marijuana through accurate sample testing and quality results. She has been actively involved in executing strategies as directed from the management team, developing and promoting company policies, planning and monitoring the day-to-day operations of the company while also serving as the primary liaison for the company. In 2020, Natalie joined the MoCannTrade Health and Education Training committee. The committee focuses on successful education of stakeholders in the community, including patients and physicians. From healthcare systems, physicians, providers and patients, this committee researches & defines best practices with stakeholders to ensure a safe, responsible and successful program implementation. Natalie was recently featured in Missouri’s Greenway in the “Women to Watch” segment!
ALL OUR EMPLOYEES
Our employees, which are featured on our social media “meet the team” segments, are no doubt the best in the business. Their willingness to solve testing challenges, go the extra mile for our clients, remain compliant to internal operating procedures, all while keeping the company’s mission at the forefront are only SOME of the reasons they are best and make MoCann Testing who we are. Not to mention, some of the most fun and enjoyable individuals to work with!
Can you talk about how the company has been involved in the community?
In the summer of 2021, MoCann Testing participated in two onsite testing events for patients, patient caregivers, and patient home growers to help them evaluate the potency profile of their products.
MoCann Testing also collaborated with Saint Louis University Cannabis Science and Operations Program highlighting various aspects of cannabis testing including testing requirements, compliance and regulatory, and benefits of medical cannabis. Each part included a PowerPoint presentation and a live Q&A for the students in the program.
We have some very exciting patient-focused events planned for 2022 so stay tuned!