PORTLAND (WGME) — A second facility now has the green light to test adult-use cannabis in Maine.
At Nova Analytic, workers say testing marijuana is not just about making sure the product is safe but also measuring its potency, which determines how it can be sold and provides buyers with information about the product.
“That’s important when someone wants to test their product and then move it and sell it to the next licensee,” said Christopher Altomare, Nova Analtyic’s co-founder and CEO.
The process can take anywhere from two to five days depending on the facility and state regulations.
At Nova, it typically takes three days, which they said is better for the clients.
“Waiting five days, almost two weeks in some other states, has a big impact on business and their ability to operate efficiently,” Altomare said.
With only two approved facilities for testing adult-use cannabis in the entire state, he said more labs like this are needed.
“There’s a big fear of a lab bottleneck,” he said.
“It is a large state, right? And that is a hurdle we’re going to have to manage,” he said.
Altomare said there are two reasons for the lack of testing facilities, namely the delay caused by both the state and the pandemic, and the rigorous application process.
“There’s a lot of different licensing processes that we had to go through as a laboratory, not only from the Office of Marijuana Policy but Maine CDC, to have the technological aspects of what we do,” he said.
Despite all this, he said the future for the adult-use industry is bright.
According to the Office of Marijuana Policy, the state sold more than $1.9 million worth of product in December — the highest monthly total since stores opened in October.
Altomare said he only sees it going up from here.
“It depends on the level of tourism we see this summer, but I do have high expectations,” he said.
One problem he also mentioned is the only two labs available currently are in southern Maine, so stores that want their product tested up north have to travel. He said they hope to develop some sort of courier service that will reduce their turnaround time.