As Cannabis Enters New Markets, New Technologies Drive Cannabis Testing Market Upwards, Bringing Real-time Certainty to All Stakeholders, From Growers to Consumers

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SACRAMENTO, California, July 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Demand for high quality cannabis is expected to rise significantly around the world, driven by shifts in political attitudes, increasing legalization, and new market opportunities such as Food & Bev, cosmetics, tobacco and pharmaceuticals. The global market for legal cannabis is estimated at about USD15-17 billion, and is projected to reach, by some estimates, to USD100 billion by 2025.

As a plant with medical, recreational and industrial uses, cannabis must be tested for its potency, to abide with strict regulations requiring proper labeling of the THC and CBD values, ensure the therapeutic effectiveness and safety of cannabis for medical uses, and determine the commercial value of the product. As demand for high-quality cannabis rises, the cannabis testing market is projected to experience an accelerated growth, from USD926 million in 2017 to USD1.5-2 billion by 2025 (CAGR of 13.2%).

Yet the current solutions for cannabis testing are fraught with issues and challenges:

  1. Test prices are very high ($500-$1,000 per batch) and take between 1 to 2 weeks;
  2. There is no unified standard for cannabis testing, and poor / unreliable test results are widespread, leading to class actions and eroding customers' confidence;
  3. A dearth in testing labs opens the possibility to 'cutting corners' to meet demand;
  4. Tests are highly dependent upon sample selection practices, and batches may present potency levels that vary greatly from the test results of the sample;
  5. Current solutions for on-site testing used by law enforcement officers are not sensitive enough to detect whether the level of THC is above or below the required levels.

Traditionally, cannabis growers and producers needed to compromise between cost and quality: Lab test using gas / liquid chromatography (the industry's standard) provides accurate results, but at a high price and long waiting time, while field kits for on-site testing are relatively affordable yet do not provide results that are accurate enough to meet the stakeholder's requirements and needs.


Test accuracy
and reliability

Skilled labor
required for use

Speed
of test

Sample preserved

Cross-lab / device
variability

Gas / Liquid Chromatography

4 / 4

Yes

Slow

No

Yes

Near Infra-Red Spectroscopy (NIRS)

2 / 4

Yes

Very High

No

Yes

Thin-Layer Chromatography

1 / 4

Yes

Mid

Yes

Yes

NIRS + Motion Mechanics + Image analysis

3 / 4

No

Very high

Yes

No

A Stakeholders' Perceptions survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan reveals that a solution for an accurate, reliable, on-site testing of THC and CBD potency is widely and ardently welcomed, described as an ideal decision-making tool for crop and production optimization that saves time, costs and reliance on 3rd party tests, as well as improve bargaining position.

Several technologies for portable, on-site cannabis testing are available today:

Company name

Product name

Technology

Cost

Orange Photonics

LightLab

liquid chromatography and spectroscopy

$13,500 + $3,500 deposit + $2,100 annual plan

Sage Analytics

Profiler II, TOX detective

NIRS

$31,500

LightWave Science

Cannalyzer-420

NIRS

$1,680 / month + $420 / additional weeks

Purpl Scientific

Purpl Pro

NIRS

$1,500

GemmaCert

GemmaCert

NIRS + Motion Mechanics + Image analysis

$4,000

The key determinants of success in the segment of portable cannabis testing devices are accuracy and reliability, time to results and affordability. In this respect, LightLab by Orange Photonics provide highly accurate results, but requires special skills to operate and has a high price tag, while NIRS-based devices such as the Cannalyzer-420 by LightWave Science and Purpl Pro by Purpl Scientific are affordable yet fall short of the industry's standard in accuracy. The GemmaCert's device, which combines motion mechanics with NIR spectroscopy, image analysis, and machine learning, corroborates each image with HPLC results of GemmaCert's ISO 17025-certified lab, thereby providing accuracy of ±10% of HPLC results, in less than 5 minutes, and at an affordable price. Thus, the device is an optimal solution for all stakeholders: Growers, producers, retailers and law enforcers.

With projections for accelerated growth, the cannabis market is primed for technological solutions that can provide certainty of quality along the value chain, aid in securing consumer confidence and improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Frost & Sullivan is a global strategic and financial consulting firm. Over the past six decades, Frost & Sullivan has become world-renowned for its role in helping corporate leaders, investors, and governments navigate economic changes and identify disruptive technologies and new business models resulting in a continuous flow of growth opportunities to drive future success. We provide service to 10,000+ clients worldwide, including emerging companies, SME, the Global 1000 and the investment community.

Media Contact:
Ma'ayan Laufer
Consulting Analyst
Frost & Sullivan
+972(0)9-950-2888
maayan.laufer@frost.com

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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan

- 13 Jul 2020
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