Labs gear up to start testing recreational marijuana

SALEM, MASS. (WHDH) - Highly trained chemists, armed with high-tech equipment, are making sure Massachusetts marijuana smokers will get high without getting sick.

“We’re the guys who going to make sure that the product out on the market is safe for consumption,” said Brian Strasnick, president and chief operating officer of CDX Analytics in Salem.

CDX is one of two testing labs that just got the final green light to start testing recreational pot. It already tests medical marijuana.

“It’s a high-tech operation,” Strasnick said. “We’ve got millions of dollars of equipment. We’re developing new methods every day.”

Workers broke down marijuana samples, searching for everything from lead and mercury to E-coli and salmonella. They also gauge the pot’s potency and document everything in detail.

“We’re able to track it from the time it’s planted until the time it’s dispensed,” Strasnick said.

CDX is now hiring more workers, staffing up to start testing recreational marijuana for the first time next week. That means retail sales are finally getting close.

“It really is an exciting time,” Strasnick said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The Cannabis Control Commission also just decided that medical marijuana that’s already been tested in a lab like this does not have to be re-tested before it’s sold as recreational marijuana, which will speed up the timeline for recreational sales.

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