DOH Certifies Private Lab for Medical Cannabis Testing

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The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) has certified a private independent laboratory on O‘ahu to begin testing medical cannabis. Steep Hill Hawai‘i passed its final onsite inspection, demonstrating its ability to effectively evaluate the safety of medical cannabis and cannabis products under state law.

“We realize that registered patients and caregivers and some of the licensed dispensaries have been waiting for a laboratory to become operational to test medical cannabis prior to consumption and sale,” said Keith Ridley, Chief of DOH’s Office of Health Care Assurance, who oversees the medical cannabis dispensary program. “This is a major step forward as it allows the dispensaries to now begin testing their products to sell to qualified patients.”

Steep Hill Hawai‘i can now begin testing medical marijuana from licensed medical cannabis dispensaries, and registered patients and caregivers. Under the interim administrative rules for medical cannabis dispensaries, laboratories must be certified by the state to legally handle, test, or analyze cannabis or cannabis products.


“Certification follows a rigorous scientific process that requires meticulous attention to detail and constant refining to ensure product and patient safety,” said Chris Whelen, chief of DOH’s State Laboratories Division. “Our State Laboratories Division team is currently working closely with two other private independent labs to help them obtain certification. They are continuing to submit or resubmit their validation studies for certification.”

To receive certification, a laboratory must submit validation studies to show it is capable of achieving consistent, accurate test results for the following areas: cannabinoid profile (including THC), compounds that are considered “active ingredients,” heavy metals such as arsenic, pesticides, solvents, moisture content, microbial contaminants, intestinal bacteria and pathogens, dangerous molds that can cause infection and disease and toxins produced by molds. Laboratories must also meet the accreditation standards of the International Organization for Standardization (IOS).

Laboratories interested in providing test services for medical cannabis on Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i Island, Maui or O‘ahu may apply for state certification online at:


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