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CBS News Reports: As it grows, marijuana business becomes more tech savvy

"As things have come above board and more financing has become available and companies become less threatened that they would be put out of business, they have been more willing to invest in technology that is making cannabis products safer and more effective," Donald P. Land, a University of California, Davis, professor who is the chief scientific consultant for the cannabis testing firm Steep Hill, told CBS News. Land's company has been at the forefront of providing testing on cannabis products, introducing a system back in 2008 that tested for pesticides, heavy metals and the level of active ingredients known as cannabinoids in pot. A few weeks ago, it rolled out a mobile testing lab called QuantaCann II that can tell the potency and moisture of the cannabis in minutes. Land said the testing - which he points out is far more advanced than for most herbal products - has been especially important in the medical marijuana field, where different types of cannabis are used to treat different maladies like pain, nausea and nausea. Some contain THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is responsible for many of marijuana's psychoactive effects while other strains contain CBD, a nonpsychoactive that has been shown to benefit some children who suffer seizures, he said. "The main result of introducing testing to cannabis has been a legitimization of cannabis as a medicine," he said. "Prior to that time, nobody knew what they were purchasing or using," he said. "Since that time, it's widely recognized that there are many different types of cannabis that lead to very different medicinal effects. The differences can only be discovered by doing chemical or genetic testing." Until now, much of the testing has been targeted to dispensaries and retailers. But the company is starting to go after growers with GenKit. The system allows a grower to have a leaf tested to determine the sex of a plant, since most growers prefer female plants known as sensimilla because of their higher yields. "Every grower who starts from seeds has to throw away half of their plants, [those] that emerge from the seeds as male," he said. "If they even have one male plant that produces pollen, that pollen is spread by the wind and their entire crop will likely be pollinated and overall yields will be reduced by 25 or more percent." http://www.cbsnews.com/news/as-it-grows-marijuana-business-becoming-more-tech-savvy/