FAIRBANKS — The Alaska marijuana control board has approved the license for the first cannabis testing facility in Interior Alaska, expected to open next month.
The marijuana board approved the license for Fairbanks Analytical Testing Thursday in a 4-1 vote, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
The testing facility has been under development since last year, owners Dylanne Macomber and Ronald Eads said.
The new Fairbanks lab is fully operational, but it will need to get a final inspection in the coming weeks before the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office issues the license, they said.
There are two other testing facilities in the state — CannTest and Steep Hill — that are in Anchorage.
Having a testing facility in Fairbanks will cut wait time and transportation costs for Interior growers, said Cary Carrigan with the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association.
Macomber echoed that statement.
"We are very sought after," Macomber said. "The faster they get the results, the faster they can get (product) to the retailer and sold."
State tax records show there are about 30 marijuana cultivators that are active and paying taxes in Fairbanks and North Pole.
Carrigan expects cannabis testing is going to more important as cultivators fight to stand out.
"I am certain that people are going to be willing to pay more to have more elaborate testing done as this industry continues to roll forward," he said. "It's a selling point."
Once open, Fairbanks Analytical Testing will offer soil sampling and cannabis analysis, including testing for potency, solvents and microbials.
The lab will open with three employees, but Eads said they plan to grow along with the market.