Mass. labs to test for safety of medical marijuana

May 9, 2013 at 11:18 AM

BOSTON, May 9 (UPI) -- Independent labs will test marijuana for contaminants before it can be sold for medical purposes, Massachusetts health officials have decided.

That change is among dozens of revisions to rules dealing with the sale and consumption of medical marijuana drafted in March by the Department of Public Health, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

The revisions resulted from more than 190 written comments submitted to the department by advocates on both sides of the issue, said Cheryl Bartlett, interim deputy health commissioner, before the final vote to adopt the regulations.

Few credible labs are expected to test marijuana products out of concern they might lose contracts with the federal government, the Globe reported last month. Medical marijuana is illegal under federal law.

To provide some legal protection, the new rules require the labs to register with the state.

Families will also find it easier to buy marijuana for their sick children under the changes. Patients less than 18 years of age with a "debilitating medical condition" no longer have to also have a "life-limiting" illness to be able to get a prescription for medical marijuana.

Remaining unchanged, however, is the requirement that dispensaries sell their products in childproof containers.

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