Nevada’s choice to create strict testing laws for marijuana before it is sold or manufactured has caused numerous delays that have led dispensaries and labs to remain closed even though they have full staffs they’re paying, along with mortgages and equipments costs that will only continue to grow. But there seems to be a small ray of hope on the horizon as laboratories appear to be closer to opening and that moves patients one step closer towards their medicine.
According to an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal, Eric Hartley reports that a “state health official said that all the rules are in place for labs to start testing marijuana. But in a sign of how confusing the process has been, that news came as a surprise to a dispensary owner and a lab scientist, who both expected a longer wait for the state to finalize some rules.”
Las Vegas dispensary Euphoria Wellness has 371 patients preregistered and is the first dispensary in the state to receive its license. Unfortunately, it can’t sell any marijuana until it’s tested by one of the state-licensed labs.
Hartley also spoke with Steve Gilbert, a state medical marijuana program manager. He claimed dispensaries can start selling as soon as the plants are tested. Still nobody is sure when patients will be able to buy marijuana and part of that is because of a delay in coming up with testing rules, which is being done by an outside organization called the Independent Laboratory Advisory Committee. They are in charge of recommending limits for pesticides, heavy metals and other substances to Nevada officials. According to the article, the “committee has met four times, with a fifth scheduled today. In early meetings, members and state staffers struggled to figure out how to conduct the meetings. Not until the fourth meeting, on April 16, did the committee vote on recommended pesticide rules, which led to a formal state policy issued Monday. Even after that vote, there was confusion about how exactly testing will work.”
One concern by the committee is that the state’s policy includes very low detection limits for pesticide. They feel that will make conducting lab tests too expensive and in turn, it could lead patients to get their marijuana from the black market.
Still, state officials are confident that the delays will pay off in the long term and that “the marijuana sold in Nevada will be safer than in other states, where regulations are inconsistent or nonexistent.”