Pot Testing Sprouts with Onslaught of New Laws

Jul 18, 2013

Marijuana testing used to mean checking to see if someone had been smoking it.

But with Oregon, Washington and Colorado all making pot more widely available to the public, laboratory testing for safety, purity, potency and active ingredients is adding to the legitimacy of the drug.

Last year, Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use and moved to put the states in charge of regulating its sale to anyone old enough to drink booze.

Retail sales are expected to begin next year in the two states, after regulatory machinery is developed and in play. And like alcohol, marijuana is going to carry health warnings and a rating for potency, along with certification that it meets safety limits for pesticides, molds and microbes.

The Oregon Legislature recently passed a bill to legalize state-licensed dispensaries for medical marijuana. Part of the bill, yet to be signed, requires testing for pesticides, mold and mildew.