The cannabis industry is growing in Connecticut, one local company is bringing on new staff to handle a new customer base.
AltaSci Laboratories in New Britain is bolstering staff now, before recreational sales begin next year.
Everything in the laboratories is equipment that can be found at any pharmaceutical quality-control testing facility. AltiSci tests the potency of medical cannabis, and ensures that it is up to standard to hit the market.
“For the past about almost 10 years, we’ve focused solely on servicing the medical marijuana program. We've been here since day one,” Jose Zavaleta, AltaSci Laboratories Director, said. “We are confident that what we test is representative of what's going to be sold.”
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Now, they are looking ahead to recreational sales. Zavaleta says the legalization of cannabis in Connecticut only means more samples will be coming into AltaSci Laboratories. The increased demand will mean more work for the technicians.”
“If anything, the regulations that are out now have added more testing,” he said.
It is why AltaSci is bringing on more lab technicians.
“We really do see as being a team of about 15, probably more, once recreational really does start,” Zavaleta said.
They have already hired two new technicians, and plan to bring on two more before recreational sales get into full swing. Zavaleta says it takes about five months for a technician to train.
“Hiring now would put us right on, you know, that sweet spot of people being independent and knowing what they're doing when we project higher throughput in our testing,” he said.
Everyone joining the team will bring a strong background in science.
“They have either a bachelor's degree in either chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, biology, so it's a wide range of, of scientific skills,” Zavaleta said.
The lab is making preparations now to meet the demands created by an emerging customer base in Connecticut.
“The medical program has been a wonderful program, and since we're using that as a starting point, I think we have a great starting point,” Zavaleta said. “It’s something that we're really excited that our employees get, get to be trained on.”