State Opts Out Of Reviewing Host Community Agreements For Legal Marijuana; Different Cannabis Testing Methods Spark Debate

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Marijuana plants in the "Flowering Room" at the Canopy Growth Corporation in Smiths Falls, Ontario. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Marijuana plants in the "Flowering Room" at the Canopy Growth Corporation in Smiths Falls, Ontario. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The state's Cannabis Control Commission decided last week that it won't review agreements between marijuana companies and the cities and towns where they're looking to set up shop.

This could pose hurdles to some marijuana business owners because these contracts are required before a business can be granted a license to operate in Massachusetts.

Some are concerned that if the agreements aren't reviewed, they could go beyond the law.

At least one group — the Mass. Grower Advocacy Council, which represents small and mid-sized cultivators and manufacturers — said it's considering legal action to force the commission to act.

Additionally, the state has approved provisional licenses for two testing labs to make sure that recreational marijuana sold in stores does not contain pesticides, mold or other contaminants.

One of them is Framingham-based MCR Labs, which utilizes a culture-based "plating" technique for testing cannabis. The other state-approved lab, CDX Analytics, is based out of Salem and employs a faster, DNA-based method call qPCR.

Both labs already serve as testing sites for medical marijuana — but differences in how they test it has sparked debate in the cannabis science community over which one is better.


Ally Jarmanning, WBUR digital producer. She tweets @allyjarmanning.

Brianna Cassidy, chief science officer of CDX Analytics.

Chris Hudalla, founder and chief scientific officer of ProVerde Laboratories. ProVerde tweets @ProVerdeLabs.

For more updates on the industry, join WBUR's Facebook group, Green Rush: Cannabis in Massachusetts.

This segment aired on August 27, 2018.



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