House passes Frankel bill to boost oversight of medical marijuana testing labs

Would ensure patients’ continued confidence in safety of cannabis products

HARRISBURG, May 21 – Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients are a step closer to better protections after the PA House today passed legislation introduced by state Rep. Dan Frankel that would strengthen the Department of Health’s oversight of the independent laboratories that test cannabis products to be dispensed under the state’s medical marijuana program.

Frankel, who is majority chairman of the House Health Committee, said he introduced H.B. 2208 to ensure patients have the full confidence they deserve that the products dispensed are safe, effective and free of contaminants.

“Every day, Pennsylvanians fill prescriptions at their pharmacies without worrying for a second about whether their medications are contaminated or inaccurately labeled,” Frankel said. “With this legislation, we are taking action to ensure that level of confidence in our medical marijuana program.

“Patients deserve to know that cannabis products are what they say they are in terms of THC levels and that they are uncontaminated by mold, pesticides or heavy metals.”

Frankel’s bill would provide for improved compliance testing, product audits, statistical analyses, transparency and inspections of labs, which serve as the last line of defense to prevent patients from unknowingly consuming substances that can have both immediate and long-term health consequences.

Frankel said that in multiple Health Committee hearings, members heard testimony about the need for lab oversight, as well as accounts of products audited in other states that were found to contain dangerous substances or significantly inflated THC. 

The bill would direct the Department of Health to ensure that labs report accurate results and would also require stability testing in some circumstances to ensure the products’ potency and purity over time.  

The bill passed with a strong bipartisan majority and now heads to the state Senate for consideration.