Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Why should medical cannabis be tested for microbial contamination?

Patients who are critically ill or suffering from a compromised immune system can have an acute risk of microbial infection and associated medical complications.

2.  Is microbial testing required?

Regulations vary by state. The vast majority of states that have legalized medical marijuana require that cannabis be tested for microbial contamination before it can be sold to consumers.

3. Are the regulations the same for every state?  

No.  The regulations vary by state and are still evolving. For the most part, state regulators are mandating testing for yeast and mold, E.coli and Salmonella identification.

4. How is your qPCR product different than using a petri dish?  

Petri dishes rely on growth media selectivity to identify microbial presence with a subjective visual estimation. This means that plating based assays require days to perform and can yield inconsistent data. qPCR identifies the presence or absence of microbial DNA in a cannabis sample. The process can be completed in a single afternoon and has very high sensitivity, specifity and reproducibility.

5. What do I need to run your test?

You will need to buy a qPCR instrument along with Medicinal Genomics’ SenSATIVAx™ DNA extraction kit, a PathogINDICAtor™ qPCR Kit and any of our available PathogINDICAtor™ qPCR assays.

6.  Which qPCR machine should I use?

We recommend Bio-Rad’s CFX96 qPCR instrument.

7.  Where can I buy the machine?

You can buy the qPCR machine directly from Medicinal Genomics or from Bio-Rad.

8.  Do you have financing options for the machine?

Yes.  For qualified customers, we offer a “reagent rental” program that can help you defray the cost of the machine via an annual reagent contract.  Please call 866-574-3582 for more information.

9.  Can you help me help get set up?  

Yes.  We have online protocols here and we also have an applications service team for your assistance.  They can be reached at 866-574-3582.

10.  Can the entire microbial testing process be done at the customer location?


11.  Can I send my sample to you for testing?

No.  We only sell the DNA purification kit and qPCR assay to enable you to do the work in your lab.

12. Can I buy cannabis from you?

No.  See previous answer.

13.  Who buys your products? 

Our clients include cultivators, dispensaries, and testing laboratories.

14. What amount of cannabis sample is required to perform the testing?

As little as 250mg of plant material.

15. Why 250mg?

To eliminate sampling bias that could affect test results.

 16. Do I need to decontaminate my PCR lab for accurate results?

No, our PathogINDICAtor™ product uses our proprietary, patent pending D.R.E.AM PCR technology that decontaminates any DNA products that may be present from previous tests.

17.  So, I do not need a clean room or dedicated PCR room?


18.  Can you sequence the plant and target DNA to determine the exact species?

Yes.  We have a fully functioning Next-Generation DNA sequencing laboratory and bioinformatics system.  Contact us at 866-574-3582 for more information.

19.  How do I know your team developed a good qPCR assay?

Our team spent more than a year developing and optimizing PathogINDICAtor™.  We have benchmarked our results against other technologies.  These results can be found here.  Our team members played a significant role in developing, and using, the most cutting edge DNA purification and sequencing technologies for work on the human genome project.  We have extensive experience working with DNA, PCR, PCR machines, robotic liquid handling machines, bioinformatics, assay development and more.