Rhode Island licenses first medical-marijuana testing lab; will seek to ensure pot’s safety, potency

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The state has licensed its first testing lab to better regulate and improve the safety of medical-marijuana products sold at the state’s three dispensaries and grown as well by state-licensed cultivators.

Green Peaks Analytical, of Warwick, will be the first licensed third-party business to sample and test those products for pesticides, metals or solvents, announced the state Department of Health on Monday.

To date, the dispensaries and cultivators have done their own testing or contracted with private unlicensed laboratories, the health department said.

“While some laboratories across the country are only licensed to test, Green Peaks Analytical will also collect samples directly from licensed cultivators and compassion centers [otherwise known as dispensaries] to ensure that the sample’s chain of custody is not broken,” the department said.

“Like all other patients in Rhode Island, people who use medical marijuana deserve to have access to safe medication, and they deserve to have accurate information about that medication,” said Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott.

“The increased oversight” from both the health department and the state Department of Business Regulation “will help ensure that critical product safeguards are in place for medical marijuana patients,” she said. [Read more at Providence Journal]