The Innovators: Anandia Laboratories is testing the cannabis industry’s mettle

The Vancouver company brings hard science to the legal pot sector.

Credit: Aurora Cannabis

Anandia runs Canadas largest cannabis testing lab in the False Creek Flats

The Vancouver company brings hard science to the legal pot sector

When Aurora Cannabis bought Vancouver’s Anandia Laboratories in August 2018 for $115 million in stock, investors were still dangerously high on the federal government’s imminent legalization of recreational marijuana, which left many of them nursing an expensive hangover. (Since that deal closed, Aurora’s share price has plummeted from the $75 range to about $14 as of late February.) But the Edmonton-headquartered licensed producer—one of several Canadian cannabis players that enjoyed a recent stock surgecould have done a lot worse than acquire Anandia.

Botanist Jonathan Page, who founded the company at UBC with chemist John Coleman in 2016, led the Canadian team that first published the cannabis genome sequence. Launched to develop new pot varieties for medical and other uses, Anandia became known among fellow producers for its testing services, which cover everything from potency and pesticides to contaminants and terpenes. True to its roots, it also offers breeding tools and genetics archiving.

Anandia, which operates independently of its parent, now works out of a False Creek Flats HQ that houses the country’s largest dedicated cannabis testing laboratory. The first such lab to offer analysis of 46 terpenes—compounds that contribute to users’ enjoyment—in dry cannabis, it’s also launched a genotyping service that ensures the accuracy of naming conventions for dry samples by confirming their genetics. And Page? He’s Aurora’s senior science adviser.