Stores across Washington could start selling recreational marijuana in a matter of weeks, but their product will have to go through a rigorous inspection process.
YAKIMA, WA - Stores across Washington could start selling recreational marijuana in a matter of weeks, but their product will have to go through a rigorous inspection process.
A 4,000 square foot marijuana lab in Yakima, is the first of its kind to receive authorization from the state.
"We're going to be testing products for 502 for the recreational marijuana market," Lara Taubner said.
In a couple of weeks, this high end laboratory run by Seattle based company Analytical 360 will be handling every type of marijuana product imaginable from edibles to lotions and oils. Even your most common, buds. They will perform dozens of tests for things like potency levels, e-coli and salmonella, similar to the tests the FDA would do for any other food or drug.
"We are doing safety testing for people," Lara Taubner said. "So these products are going to be used because 502 is going into effect, this is happening right now. And everything needs to be tested to make sure that it's safe."
One of the procedures they will do here in the lab is a foreign material inspection in which they put the marijuana under this high powered microscope. The scientists don't want to see any more than 2 percent of any foreign substance in the marijuana. And with these high powered images, they can tell producers what they need to do to have their product reach their full potential.
You might be wondering, with a ban on marijuana businesses in city limits, how is this lab even able to open up in Yakima? The city manager says the ban only prohibits selling, growing and processing marijuana and since the lab doesn't do any of those three things, it doesn't violate the ban. Analytical 360 says the decision to open a lab in Yakima is all about location.
"We wanted to serve the whole state of Washington, not just the West side. We wanted a location that was somewhat centrally located so we can receive samples from all different areas," Laura said.
For those worried about safety, the laboratory says they will only receive small samples of marijuana at a time and it will be kept in this vault behind a locked steel door.
An added benefit for the city is that this laboratory will employ 5 to 10 people with high paying, steady jobs. And the lab says that number could grow.