The trailblazing Cannabis Center of Excellence (CCoE) at Lake Superior State University recently upgraded its cannabis analysis instrumentation in ways that benefit not only the burgeoning industry but also environmental science. The newly installed Agilent 1290 Infinity II UHPLC and Ultivo QQQ mass spectrometer, in conjunction with the repurposing of existing equipment Agilent 6470 QQQ, allows CCoE to analyze residual pesticides and mycotoxins in cannabis products and the Center for Freshwater Research and Education at LSSU to identify persistent pollutants such as perfluoroalkoxy alkanes (PFAs).
“This is a game-changer in more than one field,” said Assistant Professor of Chemistry and CCoE Coordinator Benjamin Southwell. “The opportunity to enhance our cannabis analysis capabilities and leverage our existing facilities to promote freshwater science is the latest example of the value of the high-impact experiences LSSU is known for.”
The residual pesticides and mycotoxins are regulated by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Authority in the cannabis products sold throughout the state. The Ulitivo separates and detects 72 pesticides and five mycotoxins in less than eight minutes.
“LSSU continues to set the bar when it comes to hands-on education and preparation for the next generation of cannabis and environmental scientists,” said Cameron George, sales director and cannabis program manager for Agilent Technologies. “What the team at LSSU is doing to expand access to cutting-edge technology is truly inspiring.”
“This is another example of the LSSU-Agilent partnership that provides industry-leading tools and protocols for our students,” said Dr. Steven Johnson, Dean of the College of Science and the Environment. “The instrumentation bolsters hands-on techniques for cannabis chemistry students learning about pesticides and environmental science students learning about PFAs.”
LSSU President Dr. Rodney S. Hanley added, “In 2019, we established the first cannabis chemistry program in the nation, and this latest step forward epitomizes part of our vision statement to be innovation-driven and transformative. It furthers our imperative to stand at the forefront of student learning and development, sustainability, and community partnerships, all pillars of our strategic plan. And it follows our mission statement to equip graduates with the knowledge and practical skills to craft a life of meaningful employment while improving the quality of life of the Great Lakes region and the world.”