As a part of the on-going process in Rhode Island to improve medical marijuana product safety and transparency, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced it has licensed Green Peaks Analytical as the State’s first licensed marijuana sampling and testing laboratory.
To date, products sold at compassion centers in Rhode Island have been tested by cultivators or compassion centers with their own laboratory facilities, or by private, unlicensed laboratories. While some laboratories across the country are only licensed to test, Green Peaks Analytical will also collect samples directly from licensed cultivators and licensed compassion centers, to ensure that the sample’s chain of custody is not broken.
“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 Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH in a statement. “The increased oversight that RIDOH and DBR will be providing will help ensure that critical product safeguards are in place for medical marijuana patients.”
Cannabinoids (e.g., tetrahydrocannabinol [THC], cannabidiol [CBD], tetrahydrocannabinolic acid [THCA], and cannabidiolic acid [CBDA]) are chemicals found within the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids affect users by binding to specific receptors in the central nervous system. Different cannabinoids produce different effects. For example, THC is associated with psychoactive effects while CBD is associated with anti-psychoactive or THC-moderating effects. This information helps users determine which products to use and how to use them safely.
Over a six-week period, the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulations’ (DBR) Office of Cannabis Regulation will gather feedback from Green Peaks Analytical, cultivators, compassion centers, and the patient community about this process. With this information, DBR will establish a time frame by which all medical marijuana products will be required to have potency totals that have been verified by a licensed laboratory on their product labels.
RIDOH and DBR will work together with licensed laboratories, using a phased approach, to build capacity so that future certification can include testing for contaminants such as pesticides, metals, or solvents.