Rhode Island health officials need more marijuana support

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Rhode Island wants more analytical laboratories for the testing of medical marijuana

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is looking to attract more analytical laboratories to get into marijuana research. The RIDOH is currently accepting applications for labs across the state to lead research in response to the state’s requirements for marijuana testing, which were introduced earlier this year.

According to Joseph Wendelken, the RIDOH’s Public Information Officer, “Licensed laboratories will collect, sample, and analyze medical marijuana products cultivated and/or manufactured by registered compassion centers and licensed cultivators. They will test to verify the THC content of products and check for contaminants such as metals, pesticides, bacteria, other microbiological content, and solvents used in the preparation of medical marijuana products.”

Independent laboratories are the best source of accurate data. Wendelken points out that licensing existing labs will ensure that the state-mandated testing can be accomplished using all of the proper equipment and methods.

Those labs that apply for licenses will have to adhere to a long list of state requirements. They will have to use Rhode Island’s Medical Marijuana Program Tracking System, be subject to inspections and rigorously follow established testing methods and procedures.

In applying for a license, businesses must be prepared to submit a significant amount of data. It is an in-depth process that could take several months, depending on the background of the requesting entity and the number of applications the RIDOH receives. However, given that the US is about 30 years behind in marijuana investigative research, it’s time that significant advances are made.