The state of Maine legalized recreational cannabis, and it’s in the process of approving applications for potential businesses to open in the near future. However, the state does not yet have a way to test the cannabis that will be sold.
According to 13 WGME in Maine, the Office of Marijuana Policy wants to open recreational stores between late spring and mid-summer but needs to make sure they figure out how they will ensure the safety of products through a testing facility as well.
So far, Maine has received 93 store applications, and about 80 of them are currently being reviewed for a conditional license. There is currently one recreational testing facility that has applied for a license, and that license is pending. Still, that is nowhere near enough testing support if the 80 dispensaries that applied get approved.
“In our adult-use program, there is a section of the statue that requires mandatory testing of all marijuana products,” Heidrich said. “For medical products, it’s on a voluntary basis.”
While he mentions the fact that there are six testing facilities for medical cannabis so far, the fact still remains that there are none for recreational cannabis. Either new places will have to open, or some of the medical dispensaries will have to branch out when it comes to what they test.
“At least four of [the medical testing labs] have expressed interest in moving into the adult-use space,” Heidrich said. “But today there are none.”
“We need more labs,” Nelson Analytical Laboratory Director Lorri Maling added. “There’s going to be a little bit of bottleneck there, but hopefully we can work with the state and other labs and get it going.”
“I think that we have taken the appropriate steps to make sure they are able to handle the capacity that may be coming to them through the adult-use program,” Heidrich said. “Hopefully by the end of 2020, we will have three if not four marijuana testing facilities in operation serving the adult-use program.”
While state officials plan to limit the amount of testing required for recreational cannabis, it’s clear that something needs to be done so that there will be more testing facilities available.