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Associated Press
Mass. to test medical marijuana for contaminants
<p>Staff Writer</p>
April 10, 2013

BOSTON (AP) - Rules proposed for the new medical marijuana industry in Massachusetts would require dispensary owners to test their marijuana for contaminants.

That was one of the requirements discussed Wednesday as the state Department of Public Health briefed members of the Public Health Council on draft regulations for medical marijuana.

In November, Massachusetts became the 18th state to legalize marijuana for debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, Parkinson's disease and HIV.

The DPH said the proposed regulations are based on feedback from hundreds of patients and others, as well as lessons taken from medical marijuana programs in other states around the country.

The draft regulations call for operators of marijuana dispensaries to test for contaminants specified by the DPH- including heavy metals, pesticides, mold and mildew - to ensure safety of the marijuana.

The proposed rules allow up to 10 ounces of marijuana as a 60-day supply, although doctors can override the 10-ounce limit for acutely ill patients. The regulations also call for limiting advertising and a prohibition against using colloquial terms in naming the marijuana dispensaries "to ensure appropriate public messaging."

The DPH plans to license a maximum of 35 dispensaries around the state.

Public health officials plan to hold a series of public hearings on the draft regulations April 19. The council is expected to vote on the regulations May 8.



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