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Bend chemist really knows his pot

By Kandra Kent
Published On: Mar 07 2014 10:58:58 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Kandra Kent takes you behind the scenes at Bend laboratory that tests medical marijuana.

BEND, Ore. -

It's the new frontier -- legal medical marijuana dispensaries.

And with the recent official state stamp of approval also comes new rules requiring cannabis to be lab-tested.

The perfect timing for a Bend chemist who knows the science behind the strains.

"It's kinda like the wild west at this point because it's so new," said Cascadia Labs Chief Science Officer Jeremy Sackett Friday.

While the rules and regulations are still evolving, the reasoning for testing cannabis is pretty simple.

"Both safety information and how it's going to effect you," Sackett said.

Cascadia Labs opened in Bend in November -- one of the few labs testing pot in the state.

"We're required to be testing for pesticide residue, molds, containments and potency," Sackett said.

Here's how it works:

Dispensaries must send cannabis to labs, then  scientists perform a series of tests. If  the pot meets all state requirements the dispensaries will  get certificates of approval to sell the product.

"It's about bringing a lot of solid science and fundamental understanding to a very unknown area," he said.

The unknown is what scientists love.

"Understanding the product will shed new light potentially allowing more research, which is going to be very important so we can better understand how it's affecting individuals who consume cannabis products."

And Sackett isn't working away in his lab to create the highest high -- but rather the opposite.

"There's potential for additional medicinal benefits, anti-inflammatory, neuro-protective effects - and that's what people are looking for -- they don't want to be stoned all day long."

It's science breaking stereotypes.

He's using science to break stereotypes, and navigate the evolving world of medical marijuana

"Things are changing and this inflection point is going to be very critical of moving this cannabis-based product forward," Sackett said.

Using the tools of his trade to navigate the evolving world of medical marijuana.

Sackett said he has dozens of clients from around the state and is so busy he's looking to hire.

He said he may eventually open another lab in Portland.

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