WARWICK, RI — The RI Department of Health has licensed Green Peaks Analytical at 41 Illinois Ave. as the state’s first licensed medical marijuana lab for sampling and testing.
Green Peaks Analytical is one of four divisions of RI Analytics Inc., founded in 1976. The corporation’s other three divisions are: Chemical & Biological Laboratory, Product & Materials Testing, and Exposure Assessment & Management.
The licensing is part of an on-going process to improve medical marijuana product safety and transparency, RIDOH reports. 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, the RIDOH announced.
“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. “The increased oversight that RIDOH and DBR will be providing will help ensure that critical product safeguards are in place for medical marijuana patients.”
RI medical marijuana: What’s being tested
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.