Local cannabis, hemp testing lab expanding near Tampa

A Tampa-based, third-party testing lab for cannabis and hemp is expanding with the addition of a new Brandon facility.

Method Testing Labs, founded in 2019 by cannabis industry veterans Keith Browning and Rob Radke, plan to open a 7,200-square-foot facility at 2720 Broadway Center Blvd. by July 1. 

“We love the Tampa area. We did not want to move outside of the I-4/I-75 [corridor],” says Browning, explaining the area offers easy transporting.

Plans call for the addition of another 10 to 15 employees in Brandon, including analytical chemistry, microbiology, lab technician, transport, customer service and quality assurance staff.

To qualify, scientists should have a four-year degree and technicians should have a two-year tech degree; successful applicants typically have two to three years of experience. 

Salaries are “very competitive in the lab space,” Browning says. The company also offers a full health package, stock options, bonuses and merit raises.

Method Testing is charged with testing the state-regulated cannabis to see that it’s safe. Essentially, it tests cannabis for pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, microbes, potency and terpenes, or the flavoring. It tests hemp for potency.

“It’s tech support of the cannabis industry,” explains Browning, CEO. “Think of us as picks and shovels supporting the operators.”

The company, located at 4620 Eagle Falls Place, has a staff of 20 and is helping to meet the need for quality control in a dynamic cannabis industry. That need led them to form the company.

“We kept finding that one of our largest issues was testing. Compliance testing for a product. It was always very expensive,” Browning recalls, adding uncertain turnarounds also was problematic.

“It [the industry] is always changing,” he says. “A lot of companies are being purchased and rolled up.”

The firm also will be opening a facility in Massachusetts this summer. It is making plans to expand into two other states next year.

Browning, a native of Orlando, relocated from Alpharetta, GA, to Tampa about a year and a half ago. 

“I just love coming back to Florida,” he adds. “It’s been a homecoming for me as a Florida native.”
 

Read more articles by Cheryl Rogers.

Cheryl Rogers is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing about careers. An ebook author, she also writes Bible Camp Mystery series that shares her faith. She is publisher of New Christian Books Online Magazine and founder of the Mentor Me Career Network, a free online community, offering career consulting, coaching and career information. Now a wife and mother, Cheryl discovered her love of writing as a child when she became enthralled with Nancy Drew mysteries. She earned her bachelor's degree in Journalism and Sociology from Loyola University in New Orleans. While working at Loyola's Personnel Office, she discovered her passion for helping others find jobs. A Miami native, Cheryl moved to the Temple Terrace area in 1985 to work for the former Tampa Tribune