South Lake Tahoe laboratory looks to expand, analyze marijuana
A South Lake Tahoe laboratory with a focus on geochemical analysis is looking to expand to testing medical marijuana and food.
“I’ve been running a legal laboratory in South Lake Tahoe for 18 years,” GB Scientific’s Geoff Bott told city council on Dec. 13.
“We see a need to expand that into a food and cannabis testing laboratory, so I’m here to briefly discuss that.”
Located in the industrial area of South Lake Tahoe, GB Scientific currently tests and analyzes substances using the latest technology in mass spectrometry — a technique that converts molecules into ions in order to measure its characteristics.
Bott analyzes oil, for example, in order to help in further oil exploration and discovery.
GB Scientific also services and designs parts for mass spectrometers — and with this equipment and years of experience, Bott hopes to expand his operations to address issues of contamination in food and medical marijuana.
“There’s contaminants and toxins in food and cannabis, and that’s quite serious,” Bott explained.
“They are finding with the new technologies that they’re using — the new methods that they’re using in labs now, which are the same methods that we want to establish — they are finding that 60 to 80 percent of cannabis contains pesticides.”
According to Bott, 90 percent of olive oil is “adulterated,” and 90 to 95 percent of organic strawberries have pesticides.
The company Bott has created for this transition into food and cannabis testing is Lake Tahoe Laboratories Inc., for which he is currently working to secure a business license through the city. The company would be privately funded.
“We want to emphasize — and this is very important — we do not dispense. We do not distribute. We do not buy and sell. We do not cultivate medical cannabis. We don’t do anything of that nature,” said Bott.
“The laboratory we want to run will run liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, and it destroys cannabis after we run the tests. There is nothing left of the cannabis at all. “
In the first year, Bott anticipates that Lake Tahoe Laboratories would hire at least 10 to 12 employees.
“We believe we will bring benefits to the city. The big benefits that we’re talking about are job creation for technical people. We want to hire technical people. We want to bring people with PhDs, degrees. They will be highly paid experts in this field,” noted Bott.
“We will also contribute with a city tax that will be levied onto the business once established.”
Bott delivered his brief presentation during the public comment period of the meeting, therefore council was not allowed to respond or ask questions about the business. However, Bott said he has been speaking with City Manager Nancy Kerry, and is optimistic about securing the business license.
“Medical marijuana has to be tested, and we believe we can help do that,” concluded Bott.