Dr. Benjamin G.M. Chew has built his career on a cultivated and in–depth understanding of what it takes to do challenging things the right way. As a published scientific author and lecturer with his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Cornell University, his dedication to the sciences is long–standing and built on decades of research, development, and diligence. Serving as the current district manager for DB Labs, his experience is diverse with rigorous duties that have relied on his education and leadership skills, along with his overall attention to detail and quality. With a background as a scientific lab director and director of analytical chemistry, safety, and regulatory compliance, Dr. Chew has worked tirelessly to ensure state and federal compliance, led a staff of fellow scientists and researchers, and has gone above and beyond to work with local regulatory authorities to modify and improve quality standards and assurance measures. Now, Dr. Chew is helping to pave the way in the cannabis industry and its new Nevada market by promoting the same beliefs that have steered all of his past endeavors and successes in the scientific field. He believes an exceptional lab has three defining characteristics: a well-qualified staff of researchers and scientists, modern and reliable equipment, and, most importantly, the integrity to do what is right, despite the challenges.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Chew to find out how he and his team manage the top cannabis testing laboratory in the state. His answers were simple; however, I could see the work to accomplish and maintain his three pillars that define a successful lab (highly trained staff, modern and specialized machinery, and a deep–rooted belief in the importance of quality assurance) requires incredible dedication.
With any industry in its infant stages, the learning curve can be steep. And although companies do their best within their means, laboratories still learning the nuances make mistakes. Already in Nevada, there have been several instances of cannabis products contaminated with mold sold to patrons, which have had potentially hazardous effects. This lapse in quality assurance is a much larger issue than an incidental oversight. Laboratories missing any of the three integral components risk the health of the consumer and the success of the businesses they serve.
At DB Labs, Dr. Chew and his staff work tirelessly to ensure the essential components of quality assurance are integrated into every aspect of the testing process for the producers. Nevada’s cannabis industry is at an exciting yet pivotal point in its growth. With increasing customer interest pushing high demand, producers and growers feel a lot of pressure to ensure their product is the highest quality possible to entice and maintain customers. Laboratory partners put their trust in testing facilities with high stakes investments on the line.
DB Labs’ success begins with its highly skilled and experienced staff. The specialization of knowledge required to work in an industry where the product’s chemistry is what adds to its popularity (but can also add to its unpredictability in the lab) can only be obtained through years of experience. Hiring qualified, knowledgeable chemists with innate desires to grow is paramount at DB Labs.
Not only do cannabis laboratory scientists need experience with and understanding of the complexities of different cannabis products from flower to concentrations to a multitude of edible items, but they also need to master the many methods by which these products can be tested and the technology required to do so. Each of our chemists must have a wide breadth and deep understanding of cannabis testing instruments and quality assurance requirements.
This necessity for staff who are authorities in many facets of their fields can prove to be challenging, but by establishing and maintaining high standards for hiring and training, such can be accomplished. However, the investment into high–quality personnel has an immeasurable impact on DB Labs’ ability to produce an exceptional product that is safe without risk of lost time, money, or effort.
Providing exemplary service as a cannabis lab in a new and growing market presents other challenges as well, such as ensuring the lab is outfitted with modern and relevant instruments that cover the variety of testing measures. However, keeping a test lab running even after the capital spent on acquiring the necessary equipment can be expensive. Dr. Chew understands that maintaining machines is costly; however, ensuring timeliness and eliminating disruptions in the process are necessary.
The laboratory’s staff also has a responsibility for the equipment. They are the ones who help to maintain and repair the instruments and, therefore, are skilled in knowing how and when the machines are subject to be inaccurate or in need of repair. This acute sense of perception by DB Lab’s staff cannot be taught, but rather, is a product of qualified staff working with quality instruments in an environment that encourages personal enterprise.
Each day, Dr. Chew and his fellow staff work tirelessly to provide the highest level of quality assurance to the growers and producers who rely on them for safe products tested with precision and accuracy. They attribute this to a natural sense of pride that each DB Labs employee has to be the most accurate and trustworthy cannabis testing lab in the state.
With integrity, quality assurance is not only a goal for the company but a goal for each individual. As such, the chances for oversight are slim. Additionally, chances for manipulated test results for potency values or contamination are just as unlikely. Scientists at DB Labs stand behind their data, and the owners support their scientists.
Creating this high level of trust with partners is integral in maintaining relationships with growers and producers in the state. At the end of each day, Dr. Chew and DB Labs are confident they have done what is right to protect the investments of cannabis producers and the consumers in the state of Nevada. What they do is not cheap or easy, but it is always in the best interest of those whom they serve. They provide the highest level of quality assurance by doing everything they do with integrity, employing highly qualified staff, and doing it all with modern, relevant, and well–maintained instruments.