Oakland, California's Harborside Health Center has launched a new technology called "QuantaCann" in collaboration with the Steep Hill Lab. QuantaCann, according to their press release, "makes revolutionary changes in the industry with on-site testing for medical cannabis safety, strains and potency." The software and instrumentation system is able to measure potency levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) on-site, so dispensaries can correctly identify a strain tailored to a patient's needs.
Steve DeAngelo, Executive Director of HHC has called this technology a "game changer" for the industry. In 2008, DeAngelo, along with engineer David Lampach and activist Addison DeMoura, created Steep Hill Labs, which according to the press release, was "the nation's first medical cannabis testing facility." After exhaustive beta testing of 2,100 strains, 9 rare ones were found with unique levels of CBD - the compound in cannabis known to lessen pain and inflammation. Identifying strains with higher levels of CBD is helpful for matching individual strains to patients' illnesses.
The QuantaCann system utilizes Near-Infrared Reflective spectroscopy to analyze the strain and compare it to those in the Steep Hill Lab's database. This database will grow as more dispensaries use it, and could become a powerful tool for consistency in strains among dispensaries and patient-farmers.