Portland City Council Votes to Issue Temporary Cannabis Testing Lab Licenses

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The Portland City Council voted April 27 to allow the city to issue temporary cannabis testing lab licenses in an effort to ensure a quick launch of Maine’s adult-use cannabis market after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Portland Press Herald report.

City Council’s unanimous vote allows prospective testing labs to apply for a temporary local license, which would allow the facility to pursue a final state license, the news outlet reported. A lab must have a provisional state license and approval on a local site plan or a building permit, as well as security, waste disposal and odor mitigation measures implemented at the facility, to qualify for a temporary license.

Labs with temporary licenses can then pursue final licensure once the Portland City Council approves the final regulations for its adult-use cannabis program, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Two Portland-based companies, Nova Analytic Labs and ProVerde Laboratories, are in the process of obtaining certification from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the news outlet, and Nova has applied for a state license with the Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP).

Kennebunk’s Nelson Analytical and Eliot’s Catlab have also applied for a state license, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Maine’s adult-use cannabis law requires all products to be tested for potency, mold, pesticides and residual solvents before they can be sold in the state’s licensed dispensaries, according to the news outlet.

The OMP issued its first round of conditional adult-use cannabis licenses last month to 31 cultivation, manufacturing and retail operations. These conditional licensees must now obtain local authorization before they can receive final licenses from the state.

Earlier this month, the OMP announced in a letter to conditional and prospective adult-use cannabis licensees that the launch of the market would be postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maine voters legalized adult-use cannabis in November 2016.

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