Testing rule worries Ohio medical marijuana advocates

Medical marijuana advocates in Ohio are concerned a little-known rule that stipulates who can test cannabis products could delay the launch of the program.

Under the state’s MMJ law, private laboratories will not be allowed to test medical cannabis for the first year of the program, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Instead, the state’s public universities will be responsible for testing.

However, universities may decline to test medical marijuana products because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level illegal. By testing an illegal product, schools would technically be breaking U.S. law and risk losing federal funding, and so far they’ve shown little interest in taking on such responsibility.

There also is the matter of startup costs. Universities interested in testing marijuana would have to pay a $2,000 application fee and an $18,000 license fee. They also would have to invest upwards of $1 million in testing equipment and ancillary items, according to the Enquirer.

The concerns aren’t without merit. Maryland’s MMJ program initially granted exclusive dispensing responsibilities to universities with accredited medical programs. But universities failed to sign on, so legislators had to rework the program, the Enquirer reported.

Officials at four of Ohio’s public universities – Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Kent State and Ohio State – told the newspaper they have no plans to test medical cannabis.

Testing was among the private business opportunities that Ohio’s MMJ law was expected to create when it went into effect last September. The program could bring in $400 million annually once it’s fully up and running. Dispensaries aren’t expected to open until late 2018.

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3 comments on “Testing rule worries Ohio medical marijuana advocates
  1. George Bianchini on

    In Northern California we have three of the top Cannabis labs in the State, all are ISO certified. BUT!!! If I send a fully homogenized blend of ground up flower using clean room sanitary conditions to all three, I get back three completely different results. The pesticides and Cannabinoids results are very very close. The Micro results will go something like this, Lab 1. full pass, Lab 2. finds E-Coli, EPC and coliforms at TNTC, (too numerous to count) lab 3. detection of APC, Coliforms, but passes under State Limits. Most vendors know this and simple shop testing labs until they get a PASS test result. The reason is the science is such that it’s a hit or miss, roll of the dice, Play the game situation. SO! which test is correct? Is the product that reaches the dispensaries clean or not? Is clean product going to be destroyed because of false test results. This could put our farmers out of business leading to lawsuits. How about the serious medical patients with compromised immune systems? a little E-coli or mold could lead to very bad things. Cannabis can’t kill you, but unwanted things on our medicine could. We must have other ways of sterilizing our medicine just like every other food or drug on the market. Then the testing should reflect this. I would be willing to pay an extra buck or so an 8th
    for certified medicine with no living germs on it.

    • Bill on

      Germs are everywhere, some good, some bad, you can’t kill every germ or microbe, that would be detrimental to life as we know it, but at least knowing what to look for is better than not knowing at all, find the ones that would do harm and eliminate them from the crop, but be aware that doing that can also eliminate the good ones also, as they will have nothing to feed on. It is always going to be a roll of the dice no matter how you look at it

      • George Bianchini on

        You are right Bill. The problem is that that test at a high end lab would cost more than the Cannabis. Cannabis labs can only test for the total amount of Bacteria. We do kill every germ and microbe on most of our food. All grains, spice, beans, and other imported food items must be sanitized as they come off the ships. I believe that farmers should be able to grow organically using as much Bacillus bacteria as needed, then all bacteria should be destroyed before retail. A very simple process I might ad. As far as the lack of bacteria or other germs being detrimental to life is true for humans. That does not apply to food or medicine. Sterile food and medicine is a far better choice. Have you ever seen a food product that is allowed to have 100,000 living bacteria critters per gram. Cannabis in California is allowed to have that, add it up that’s 45 million bugs per pound. And that’s just the bacteria category.

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