Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

April 18, 2013

For Wash. government bean-counter, a pot education

(Continued)

Should the recommended serving size vary among tinctures and other types of edibles, such as brownies or drinks?

What should the minimum qualifications be for lab workers who sign off on marijuana quality-assurance tests?

Does Analytical 360 just use standard lab procedures from the United States Pharmacopeia, or from overseas compendia as well?

"Oh my Gosh, he's grown so much," noted Greta Carter, the clinic's owner.

About an hour later, Steenhout was inside a red, two-story building fenced with barbed wire in industrial South Seattle — a marijuana grow operation that helps supply the Conscious Care Cooperative, a medical marijuana collective with 8,000 patients.

He was surrounded by hundreds of pot plants of various sizes, but seemed most impressed with the few pages of a document describing the grow-op's standard procedures — what nutrients the plants are given and when, when foliage sprays are applied.

"See, this is useful," Steenhout said. "I've been thinking a lot about GMPs, you know" — good manufacturing practices.

In another room, Jim Andersen, with a company called XTracted, showed Steenhout how he uses a closed-system extraction device — a contraption of metal cylinders and tubes — to make hash oil from marijuana buds or leaves.

The system uses a vacuum to inject and then completely remove the butane solvent from the product, and virtually eliminates the risk of explosion because no oxygen is introduced, he said.

Andersen pulled several types of hash oil out of a black plastic tub to show Steenhout, and offered to send him home with some samples. Steenhout politely declined.

"I get that all the time," he said later. "These people are proud of what they do."

After one final stop at a Seattle business park, to visit a company that makes extraction systems, Steenhout was ready to drive back to Olympia. He was asked whether, after his months of work, he planned to buy marijuana from a state-licensed store once it's available.

"I have no idea," he said. "I haven't really thought about it."

___

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