Mike Harris, Ventura County Star | Published 9:32 a.m. PT Dec. 11, 2019
A licensed cannabis testing facility is coming to Thousand Oaks.
As of now, it will be the only one to operate in Ventura County, its CEO says.
The Thousand Oaks City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved an agreement with Atlas Quality Assurance Laboratories to operate the facility.
Atlas expects to open the laboratory – its first – in late 2020 at 3563 Old Conejo Road in an area zoned for light industrial.
Atlas scored the highest in a city application process based on such factors as proposed location and business and security plans.
The council, meanwhile, said it would consider approving a second testing lab in town at some point.
“I think the city could support two testing labs, and they do provide high-paying jobs,” Mayor Al Adam said.
The council might have green-lighted a second lab Tuesday night operated by 5-HT Analytics, which came in second in scoring. But as council member Claudia Bill-de la Peña noted, no company representatives were at the meeting.
Such labs test cannabis sold in dispensaries to verify the products are safe for human consumption and to give consumers an idea of the potency of the product they are using, according to the state Bureau of Cannabis Control.
“We’re very happy” that the council green-lighted the Atlas facility, the company’s founder and CEO, Christine Barnard, said after the council’s vote. “We are concerned, however, them allowing another lab at this point.
“I think it’s inevitable that other labs will want to come in and compete, and we understand that,” said Barnard, who runs another Thousand Oaks business, Biotex, a blood drawing and specimen collection company. “But at this point, I think it’s best to have one lab open and get us up and operational.”