Cannabis companies, testing labs rushing to get vape products back on shelves

MCR Labs is one of two state licensed marijuana product testing facilities that is getting busier by the day.

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — New England Treatment Access, a local marijuana dispensary, says it plans to have recently tested vaping products back on shelves Saturday.

This comes after new state regulations allowed stores to sell newly-made marijuana vaping products again after they’re tested by independent labs.

MCR Labs is one of two state licensed marijuana product testing facilities that is getting busier by the day.

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Hundreds of marijuana samples are being processed from flowers to oils to cartridges.

Founder Michael Kahn says a battery of safety screenings are a must following recent orders from the Cannabis Control Commission lifting a previous ban on vaping products over health concerns.

Products must now pass screenings for contaminants like vitamin E acetate, an additive flagged by federal health officials, and other heavy metals.

“Pesticide analysis, micro biologic contaminant screenings like mold and bacteria, we test for heavy metals,” Kahn listed.

Small samples from marijuana growers come into their Speen Street building, are weighed, separated, broken down and analyzed by sensitive systems.

Cannabis companies want their products tested quickly to get them onto shelves, but must wait a bit.

"Of course if you're going to get an onslaught of samples, you're going to experience a bit of a delay but I don't believe we here in mass are nearly as delayed as some of the other state programs," Kahn said.

The work is delicate and Kahn says more tests may be added if other potentially harmful chemicals are discovered in various marijuana products.

Though most of the worst materials they’ve found have been in black market products tested, not the samples brought by local companies.

“If anybody out there has a product that they are not sure about -- they don’t know where they got it, the don’t where it came from -- We’ll test it for free for vitamin E acetate,” Kahn said.

MCR Labs says the typical turnaround times is three to five days to review the products and issue a report.