Marijuana testing required for dispensaries in Massachusetts

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Massachusetts was the first state to require cannabis testing and the Department of Public Health has many rules in place.

Those rules could determine what recreational regulations will look like.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires registered marijuana dispensaries like INSA in Easthampton to have all of their products tested by an independent testing laboratory before the product hits the shelves. "Each type of product that we send out has to be tested for different things such as heavy metals, pesticides, microbiologicals," said Director of Operations at INSA, Ian Kelly. That also includes testing for mold. MCR Labs is where they test marijuana samples for dispensaries.

"All of our clients take this very seriously and no products make it to the shelves unless they have a passing lab report," said Michael Kahn, President and Founder of MCR Labs When we see more dispensaries pop up, it's possible some will not have the resources to keep up with state-required testing. "Eventually somebody will start cutting corners somewhere. It's bound to happen," Kahn added. Under current regulations, Kahn said dispensaries are following the rules to a T. "All we do is provide measurements, a sample comes in, we measure its contents for potency or safety screens and then we send back our report," Kahn explained. There's no requirement for dispensaries to submit these reports to the DPH, but inspectors routinely ensure dispensaries are following the rules during inspections throughout the year, for the safety of patients. "It's given me quality of life that a lot of the doctors I've been seeing before this have not been able to give me," said KT Tundermann of Easthampton. Now that it's legal to grow your own plant at home, Kahn said you might want to think about getting your 'home-grow' tested. "Most of our fails for mold would pass the naked eye test," Kahn noted. Dispensaries can apply for recreational licenses this spring and the first licenses are set to be issued by this summer when state testing regulations could start to shift.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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