As part of work to ensure patient safety, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is now accepting applications for analytical laboratories in Rhode Island that want to be licensed to sample and test medical marijuana. Application instructions and the application form are available at www.health.ri.gov/applications/MMTestingLabPreliminary.pdf

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.

By licensing independent laboratories to do this work, RIDOH will be able to ensure that the analysis of medical marijuana is conducted using validated, standardized analytical methods with appropriate instrumentation. These steps are critical to establishing the quality assurance standards needed for medical marijuana so that RIDOH can continue to ensure its safety and appropriate labeling in Rhode Island.

The standards for licensing these analytical laboratories were laid out in regulations promulgated earlier this year.