New labs sprouting up to test cannabis—and the law

Dec 11, 2013

Grandaddy Purple, Blueberry Yum Yum and other pot products may now be legal for medical use in 20 states and the District of Columbia, but how do patients know what dose they're really getting and whether it's safe? Small labs are setting up shop—some at their own legal peril—to help patients find out, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

Bethany Halford, senior editor at C&EN, explains that consumers expect tight quality control over more traditional pharmaceuticals that come in syrups, drops and pill form at the corner pharmacy. Dosage should be precise, and purity is demanded. Now that the use of medical marijuana—and in Colorado and Washington, the buying of recreational pot—is growing legally, labs to analyze the available products are cropping up.

The labs test for the potency of marijuana not only by analyzing the plant itself, but also edible products such as taffy, caramel and gum that contain the drug. They also look for mold, mildew and microbial contamination, as well as the presence of pesticides and solvents left behind during production. The article notes that these entrepreneurial chemists, while helping , are taking big risks and treading into untested legal territory. Although some have legalized the purchase of the drug, possession of marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

Explore further: Conn. university to test pot for contaminants

More information: "Analyzing Cannabis" cen.acs.org/articles/91/i49/Chemists-Analyze-Cannabis-Safety-Potency.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Washington state approves rules for pot industry

Oct 16, 2013

Washington became the second U.S. state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana Wednesday, setting what advocates hope will become a template for the drug's legalization around the world.

Jamaica scientist launches medical marijuana firm (Update)

Dec 04, 2013

A prominent Jamaican scientist and entrepreneur is launching a company that aims to capitalize on medical marijuana, a growing global industry that he asserted Wednesday could be a boon for the island's chronically limping ...

Recommended for you

Research offers 'promise' of improved food safety

19 hours ago

The issue of food safety has rocketed up the political agenda in recent years but despite huge improvements, some concerns and problems still persist. Fears about our food are moving away from issues about ...

Metals go from strength to strength

19 hours ago

To the human hand, metal feels hard, but at the nanoscale it is surprisingly malleable. Push a lump of metal with brute force through a right-angle mould or die, and while it might look much the same to the ...

Chemists achieve molecular first

20 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Chemists from Trinity College Dublin have achieved a long-pursued molecular first by interlocking three molecules through a single point. Developing interlocked molecules is one of the greatest ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Chemists achieve molecular first

(Phys.org) —Chemists from Trinity College Dublin have achieved a long-pursued molecular first by interlocking three molecules through a single point. Developing interlocked molecules is one of the greatest ...

Metals go from strength to strength

To the human hand, metal feels hard, but at the nanoscale it is surprisingly malleable. Push a lump of metal with brute force through a right-angle mould or die, and while it might look much the same to the ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.