Keeping Cannabis Compliant
Sitting Down With... Savino Sguera, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Digamma Consulting
What was your route into the cannabis industry?
I’ve been in the industry for nine years now. I graduated in biomedical engineering in 2008, soon after the markets had crashed, and there were very few science jobs near my home in New York. I went out to California to visit some high school friends who were working in dispensaries. I became intrigued by the emerging market in cannabis testing and went to visit Steep Hill Labs. After striking up a conversation with the then-owners we stayed in contact and eventually I joined them as the Lab Director.
I worked in several different testing companies before starting my own consultancy business with Co-Founder Marco Troiani. At Digamma, we help analytical laboratories, manufacturers, and formulators around the world optimize their method development, validation, and SOPs.
What are the greatest challenges facing the field?
Regulation is a major issue – US and international regulations on cannabis trade and research have been the main limiting factor for the industry. Right now, there is a steep learning curve happening among cannabis companies. They need to reach a point where everything they do is legally defensible – every certificate of analysis and every product – and that is proving to be a challenge.
Unlike food or environmental testing, there are no standard, validated methods for cannabis laboratories to follow. Federal regulations prohibit instrument companies from working with cannabis, so when they develop methods for their instrumentation they have to use a substitute.
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