Trailblazers: Red Clover Analytics Prides Itself on ‘A Better Standard’ of Testing
Yearim Plantillas of Red Clover Analytics talks about cannabis analytics and the importance of high quality standards. This article is part of a regular series, Trailblazers, highlighting entrepreneurs entering the legal cannabis space.
When Yearim Plantillas was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, his doctors prescribed a host of pharmaceuticals.
But the drugs came with disruptive side effects. So instead, he began using cannabis, and soon found relief for his anxiety, trouble sleeping and other PTSD-related symptoms.
“As I was taking cannabis, I also started trying to grow my own. And I am a person who does research — a lot, a lot, a lot of research. I love to read,” Plantillas said. “So in doing so I started learning about cannabis, and about what it took to grow it and what could go wrong with it.”
“Cannabis is a very sensitive plant, and it’s a plant that can absorb anything out of the soil. So we believe that we should provide a better standard.” — Yearim Plantillas
As a medical patient, Plantillas wanted to be sure of the safety of the products he was consuming. So after learning about Vermont’s need for testing infrastructure as a new legal market develops, Plantillas and his wife, Paula Bacon, decided to open their own cannabis testing lab, Red Clover Analytics, in Williston.
The couple is self-financing their business, and their biggest challenge so far has been retrofitting their space with the specialized equipment needed for this type of testing. Plantillas said they have been grateful for the responsiveness of the state’s Cannabis Control Board, which has issued testing licenses to two labs so far.
Red Clover Analytics will perform testing at the caliber required by states like Colorado and California, with a 66-point panel that provides a deeper analysis of terpenes, mycotoxins, residual solvents and more.
Vermont law requires a 16-point testing panel that looks for pesticides, heavy metals, moisture activity and potency levels. But Red Clover Analytics will perform testing at the caliber required by states like Colorado and California, Plantillas said, with a 66-point panel that provides a deeper analysis of terpenes, mycotoxins, residual solvents and more.
“Cannabis is a very sensitive plant, and it’s a plant that can absorb anything out of the soil,” Plantillas said. “So we believe that we should provide a better standard.”
The lab’s first concern is assuring the quality of products Vermonters are consuming because, as a form of medicine, cannabis should be subject to the same stringent testing as other available remedies.
“Tylenol didn’t come to the market without its proper research. It’s the same thing with cannabis. We can’t bring anything into the market that has a questionable background,” Plantillas said. “We can’t bring anything into the market that is going to do more harm than good.”
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