Nevada gets its first CBD testing laboratory
Updated: Jul 15
Clinical lab expert and entrepreneur Malorie La Fuente envisions a fully transparent and safe environment for hemp and CBD customers and businesses in the United States.
Her cannabis testing lab startup, Desert Cannalytix, is a response to the problematic testing practices that have marred the cannabis industry for years.
With a decade of experience in managing and operating hospital pathology and reference laboratories, Malorie may have the key to solving the currently troubled lab testing segment.
In a recent interview, Malorie tells us she knows exactly where to start to create an immediate impact.
“Nevada was one of the original pioneers in cannabis legalization. Knowing this, and already living in Las Vegas, I almost immediately saw an opportunity to jump in and be a part of the cannabis revolution.”
Malorie explained that there is room for growth in the lab testing segment as many of the testing labs that initially popped up in the state have already lost their license to operate. She added that she has been observing the problematic lab testing practices that have marred the U.S. cannabis industry for years.
“With my background, I knew what I had to do… Open a testing facility.”
According to Malorie, the idea for Desert Cannalytix comes from her mindset of service to others.
“I aim to be a pioneer that leads others into new experiences and new ways of looking at things. Keeping up with current trends and also creatively coming up with innovative solutions to do things differently has been a huge part of my management success.”
Learning the trade
While studying Clinical Laboratory Science from the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health professions at St. John’s University in Queens, Malorie opted to pursue a generalist license over a specialist one.
“As a generalist in laboratory science, I was required to complete and pass courses and clinical rotations in the following fields: Microbiology, Serology, molecular diagnostics, clinical chemistry, cytogenetics, immunohematology, hematology, histology.”
According to Malorie, her generalist training led to her quick promotion into supervisory and managerial roles a mere two years into her professional career.
“I can thank the extensive training and education I received from St. John’s University. My clinical rotations were at some of the best pathology labs in NYC.”
After gaining extensive knowledge on the medicinal use of cannabis, Malorie eventually started exploring how to get into the testing business.
“I subscribed to cannabis lab testing platforms’ mailing lists, industry newsletters, and webinar venues. The more I was exposed to my interest, the idea started to become a plan.”
Birth of Desert Cannalytix
Malorie then met Las Vegas-based finance expert Bonito Sahagun, who would eventually become the CFO for Desert Cannalytix.
“As the CEO and Scientific Director, the science and operations responsibilities come second-nature but finding the right person to help launch the startup and help facilitate the accounting & financial side of the startup operations was key. It was destiny that Bonito and I met because he really fueled my dream.”
It was Bonito’s advice that prompted Malorie to find the most efficient way to operate Desert Cannalytix without sacrificing her vision.
“One day, I had an idea to change our business model into strictly servicing CBD/ hemp and any other potential future plant medicines coming down the pipe.”
Malorie shared that the market was just as large, if not larger, for CBD/ Hemp.
Involving the community
Malorie and Bonito are now launching an equity crowdfunding campaign for Desert Cannalytix on FINRA-registered platform Fundanna, where everyday Americans can invest as little as $150 to support the company.
“Well-operated cannabis testing labs are the most secure investment to make in the cannabis space. The cannabis industry is definitely glamorous and can have passive trends, but testing isn’t going anywhere. Other future plant medicines and their producers are future customers.”
To learn more about the campaign, potential investors can check out more information in the invest section of their website.
Malorie also takes pride in their upcoming Desert Cannalytix app, which she says can benefit the industry by connecting all of its parts into one source.
“Transparency is knowing what is going on at every step of a process. It’s a way to incorporate the beauty of AI to monitor trends and maintain organization within huge operations. Most successful companies and industries are incorporating this same technology into their workflows. It’s time to get real-time tracking into an industry in deep need of a central source of information.”
Desert Cannalytix has since built a formidable team, adding laboratory specialists, health experts, and business advisors from the CBD/Hemp field.