By Barbara R. Fallon
Stories of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on personal and professional lives throughout the world have dominated the headlines this past year. This is an inspiring best practice scenario of a forward-thinking survival strategy.With a 30-year history of collaboration with ADPEN Laboratories, a global leader of Agrochemical, Nutraceutical, Pharmaceutical and Food Safety testing, Americanna Laboratories is a family-operated division formed in 2018 to advance the science of cannabis relief for cancer patients.
Americanna strives to bring good science to the cannabis testing industry and ensure the safety of products for consumers. Based on their analytical testing experience in the above industries and cannabis testing from flowers to oils and tinctures to edibles, co-founders Steven Perez and David Perez along with the Americanna executive team decided to navigate the pandemic with a two-pronged approach. First, supporting their nationwide client base through the peaks and valleys of consumer demand in a pandemic induced economy-in-flux; and second, simultaneously examining their own business plan to determine a future-oriented growth strategy. Their strategy included steps to expand their scope of services and add targeted expertise to their management team to continue their mission of applying scientific testing expertise to a broader client base.
At one end of the spectrum were clients already well-established in the nutritional supplements market who needed to quickly amp up manufacturing and testing of products blended with hemp-derived ingredients. These clients saw increased demand from consumers taking control of their health during difficult times by exploring alternative and naturally-sourced products, many of which contained hemp-derived ingredients such as CBD and CBG. Alternatively, some clients needed to lean on their partnership with Americanna through decreased demand trends and dire financial scenarios but still required their signature, rigorous, high quality testing at lower cost until a return to normalcy. “As partners with our clients, we felt obligated to accommodate our client needs through periods of stress and distress. Consumers were looking for these products and quality cannot be sacrificed,” Steven Perez noted.
Planning through a Pandemic
During the past year, Americanna Labs has enhanced their team with managerial and sales expertise with the appointment of Wyman Dickey, as CEO and Alex Pecci as Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Both individuals excelled in successfully managing growth in other industries and brought a new eye to the market. “We had a pedigree foundation of knowledgeable scientists and state-of-the-art technology but expanding our business acumen and extending our sales reach with these strategic team members allows us to better serve and advise our clients – not simply provide a premier analytical service,” according to Steven Perez. A major area of growth for the Americanna team has been in the testing of nutritional supplements on the Amazon sales platform. This was where 30 years of nutritional testing experience really made a difference, according to Perez.
As the health industry continues to curtail opioid prescription medications, consumer demand for alternative pain relief and sleep assistance products exploded with a rush to combine CBD with traditional supplements. This required testing according to FDA regulations to an ISO 17025 standard, which, for the manufacturer, meant sending products to a variety of lab facilities to complete the required testing for different components.
According to Dickey, Americanna Labs expanded their scope of ISO accreditation to include more products and offer a one-stop testing solution, which complies with FDA regulations. Tests such as identification, potency, dosage uniformity, homogeneity dissolution and shelf-life along with contaminant testing for pesticides, microbial agents, residual solvents and heavy metals can all be done in-house at Americanna Labs. Amazon distributed products require this additional level of quality standard testing, which many traditional cannabis labs cannot provide.
“As an FDA, DEA, and EPA audited facility, we understand the most stringent quality standard requirements to which our clients must adhere. We save our clients time, money and effort by managing, coordinating and reporting multiple test results under one roof, while providing the highest level of assurance of safety for the end-user,” Dickey said In addition to one-stop testing convenience, Americanna’s experience with FDA regulations provides new manufacturers a trust-worthy partner who can advise clients on the importance of method testing and setting specifications for product ingredients and characteristics.
“More potency is not necessarily better,” Perez noted “and with our test results we can help manufacturers understand the impact of dosing specifications and ensure consumer safety both on the label and in the product.” “Obviously, the dreadful consequences of COVID-19 did not bypass our industry; but we seized the opportunity to strategize and stimulate innovative energies and resources to solve issues with confidence for our clients in accordance with our mission,” he summarized.
For more information, visit americannalaboratories.com or call (904) 549-5948.