• Keystone Labs

Importance of partnerships

Whew, what a year at Keystone Labs! As a busy cannabis testing lab in Edmonton, we have found ourselves asking a whole new list of questions lately, especially as we get busier and busier; questions like:

  • How do we keep up with everything that is changing in the cannabis industry?

  • Are we keeping up to changing expectations for cannabis testing services?

  • Are there new pesticides to be tested in cannabis?

  • Have the residual solvents or heavy metals limits changed?

  • How do the limits for inhalation apply to microbial contamination in cannabis?

  • Are we missing anything in the Pharmacopeias?

  • Has Health Canada changed the cannabis legislation? …Again?

  • How are we going to get everything done?

These new questions are tacked on to the endless things that are keeping us up at night.


As we are working through a period of rapid growth, our list of key projects never seems to shrink. With every success story, we continue to add new, exciting projects to the list. This heavy workload can be overwhelming and make the pace of progress feel slow. A critical factor for success at Keystone has always been our strong foundation of teamwork and collaboration. What an individual can accomplish when they are supported by a team seemingly grows exponentially.


Throughout this challenging year, our team members have had to split our focus between finding new ways to work safely together and continuing to make progress. With COVID foremost in our minds, we have separated into two isolated work teams. This has created an emotional strain we have not seen before compounded by the need for everyone to fill more roles. When it feels critically difficult, our small team rallies together, helping each other find their individual strengths, and working together to fill the gaps.


If we have learned anything from the last year, it is proper planning and robust quality systems aren’t always enough to make it through all the problems that come our way. Having a strong, supportive community around provides a buffer to allow you to adapt and focus on what you do well to find new ways to be successful. This kind of resilience is important when something like a global pandemic creates unexpected challenges. Teamwork builds resilience by providing support where it is needed, allowing each of the members of the team to work intentionally and add value in the team’s overall success. With a resilient team, we have become adaptable and innovative in ways we couldn’t have planned for and that has made a tremendous difference for everyone.


Also, this year we have been thrilled to turn our internal success strategy outwards, developing key strategic partnerships. The resilience that comes from working collaboratively is as true on a small team as it is in a larger community; we are stronger together.



As an Agilent Enabled lab, we have been able to leverage our experience and integrate the

knowledge and rich experience of our partner into our operations. Agilent is a world leader in innovative analytical solutions, our lab is filled with Agilent technology. With support and strategic advice, the Agilent team has enabled us to become efficient in responding to new opportunities. It has also allowed us to stay on track with our goals, while at the same time accessing the deep knowledge and experience of the Agilent team.


The strategic decision to become an Agilent Enabled lab has provided us the chance to be connected to a larger, more experienced team, build resilience in our team, create a new community, and amplify our success during a challenging year.


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