Labs not yet built for Mass. pot test­ing

Woonsocket Call - - REGION/OBITUARIES -

BOS­TON (AP) — Mas­sachusetts law re­quires that all recre­ational mar­i­juana prod­ucts bear a seal show­ing they have been tested by an in­de­pen­dent lab­o­ra­tory for con­tam­i­nants and po­tency lev­els.

The prob­lem is that there is no place to test yet, as no labs have been li­censed by state reg­u­la­tors.

The lack of any au­tho­rized test­ing fa­cil­i­ties is an­other rea­son why re­tail sales have yet to be­gin in Mas­sachusetts de­spite an orig­i­nal July 1 target date for the first pot shops to open un­der the state’s voter-ap­proved law le­gal­iz­ing adult use of recre­ational mar­i­juana.

The de­lay ap­pears likely to con­tinue for at least sev­eral more weeks.

The Cannabis Con­trol Com­mis­sion re­vealed on Thurs­day that it had re­ceived the first com­pleted ap­pli­ca­tion from a prospec­tive test­ing lab­o­ra­tory, and the panel’s chair­man, Steven Hoff­man, said a vote to grant a pro­vi­sional li­cense to the uniden­ti­fied fa­cil­ity could hap­pen at the com­mis­sion’s next meet­ing on July 26.

Rec­og­niz­ing the co­nun­drum that pot shops can’t sell prod­ucts un­less they are in­de­pen­dently tested, Hoff­man had ear­lier said the com­mis­sion would pri­or­i­tize re­views of lab ap­pli­cants.

Three labs al­ready are reg­is­tered by the state De­part­ment of Pub­lic Health to test med­i­cal mar­i­juana, but they must seek a sep­a­rate li­cense from the com­mis­sion to test for the re­tail mar­ket.

MCR Labs, of Fram­ing­ham, has been test­ing med­i­cal mar­i­juana since 2015 and was work­ing to fi­nal­ize its ap­pli­ca­tion to test recre­ational pot as well, some­thing the com­pany’s pres­i­dent, Michael Kahn, says it is ready to do once it gets the green light from the state.

Un­like med­i­cal mar­i­juana, ap­pli­cants for com­mer­cial li­censes of any kind are re­quired to sign host com­mu­nity agree­ments with the city or town where they plan to lo­cate and cer­tify com­pli­ance with all lo­cal zon­ing pro­vi­sions and by­laws.

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