Lucia Orellana is a 25-year-old chemistry student interested in cannabis testing. At Phyto Farma Labs, she is able to navigate this interest through a training program for college students offered by the company.
While the booming industry in New York City is expected to create thousands of new jobs, the company says more specialized skills are needed.
“One of the things that most programs lack is a true practical application of science. What we do is supplement their academic training with hands-on, hands-on training in the use of equipment and procedures,” said Dr Marco Pedone, owner and co-founder of Phyto Farma Labs.
This is what Kristy Lee, a student at Hunter College, is doing here. Her goal is to become a doctor, but with a new interest in the cannabis industry, she sees the potential for the union of the two worlds, making her more marketable for the future.
She is one of three students currently working in the laboratories of Phyto Farma, learning to test CBD and hemp products for quality assurance. She reiterates the need for this work.
What would you like to know
- Phyto Farma Labs is based at the Warwick Valley Office & Technology Corporate Park
- Company trains students to play pivotal roles in burgeoning New York state cannabis industry
- Company co-founder Dr Marco Pedone says the program offers “true practical application of science” to students working in the lab.
“When we receive samples, we have to make sure that no bacteria are growing. We can also detect what is growing as well,” she said.
The laboratory tests the potency and compliance of products and unwanted biological material, including mold and feces. She became fascinated with this job after her classmate shared a personal story.
“One of his cousins used marijuana for recreational purposes. Unfortunately he now suffers from schizophrenia, so what I love to do is make sure our products are beautiful and pure, ”she says.
This means that the sample does not contain bacteria which could be harmful to the person using the product. And right behind her, in another room, Masters student Nick Ferreira explains why a program like this is so important.
“Even at university, this equipment is too precious and too expensive, really, to be screwed up. I got a lot of experience in troubleshooting and problem solving, ”said the Pace University student, making sure he, too, is employable after graduation.