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Maine lab applies for certification to test recreational marijuana

Matthew J. Lee

KENNEBUNK, Maine — A Maine lab has become the first to apply for state certification to test recreational cannabis.

Nelson Analytics applied to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention for a testing facility certification, the Portland Press Herald reported Monday.

The state is taking steps to ensure it has enough licensed labs to test all products prepared in state. The adult-use market does not open until March 2020.

Officials say that the licensing and regulation of testing labs is essential to guarantee public safety.

“We need an effective and responsible licensing and regulation system. And to do that, we need testing labs,” said Erik Gundersen, director of the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy.

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Testing for pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents will be delayed until the market is running — likely after a year, according to Maine officials.

“It takes time for independent, top-quality labs to establish themselves and develop capacity necessary to support the growing volume of product moving through a newly launched adult-use program,” Gundersen said.