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Streetsboro Lab Prepares for Medical Marijuana Inspection


An environmental laboratory in Streetsboro is hoping to pass an inspection next week that will allow it to test medical marijuana.

Department of Commerce and State inspectors will visit North Coast Environmental Laboratory on December 19.

Spokesperson Joe Moorhead said the inspectors will be searching for everything the lab put in its application. If they fail, the lab can potentially lose its ability to achieve a medical marijuana license.  

“They awarded us a license based on the narrative and what we specified we’d be doing through security and even operations on our application. And their job is to come and make sure that down to the letter, we did everything we said on our application and made it operational in our facility.”

Moorhead said the lab’s security includes armored vehicles and night vision cameras.

The armored vehicles are necessary to transport large amounts of money in addition to the cannabis, which Ohio classifies as a Schedule One substance. 

"Schedule One in the federal government's eyes is a substance that doesn't have any medicinal properties, and is harmful to humans," Moorhead said. 

He said North Coast Environmental Laboratory is responsible for testing the product before it is released to patients or enters dispensaries. They will be testing for pesticides, heavy metals, fungacides, micatoxins, water activity, moisture content, and more. All of which ensures the quality of the product. 

The company has already begun scouting growers in Ohio.  

"Our reasoning for visits was to obviously get to know our customers, but also to get to see their production facilities," Moorhead said. 

North Coast Enviromental Laboratory is looking at level one and level two cultivators. Level one cultivators can grow up to 25,000 square feet of cannibis, or 75,000 square feet if the demand is there. A level two cultivator can grow up to 3,000 square feet of cannibis, or 9,000 square feet if there is demand. 

Moorhead does not believe this is a step toward legalizing marijuana in Ohio. 

"Because of this being a regulated state, there are huge restrictions in what the actual plant has to pass before it can be released to patients," he said.

Editor's Note: This story originally reported that level one cultivators could grow up to 21,000 square feet of cannibis. According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, that number is 25,000 square feet. The state would have to approve any expansion beyond the initial amount for level one and level two cultivators.

Copyright 2021 WKSU. To see more, visit WKSU.

Tia is a senior journalism major at Kent State University with experience in broadcast, print, visual and digital journalism. Tia works as a member of Kent State student media's TV2 and is an ambassador for the College of Communication and Information.