Mandatory lab testing of marijuana edibles begins in Colorado

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DENVER -- For the first time, Colorado began the mandatory testing Thursday of each edible marijuana product before they hit store shelves.

There are three state-approved labs that do this testing, and FOX31 Denver got an inside look at one of them.

The testing is designed to keep marijuana users safe. The experts look at the potency of the products and they check to see if there are any harmful chemicals in the marijuana-infused food.

"We want to know are there pesticide contaminants, are there microbiological contaminants, you know, what's the overall potency of this product," says Heather Despres, director at Cannlabs.

If anything isn't in line with state standards, the entire batch of product gets quarantined and it will not make it to consumers. "Now people should have a much stronger reassurance that their product is safer."

"We are really focused on the highest quality and purest product that we can [make]," says Shellene Suemori, head of science at Dixie Elixirs and Edibles. She has been running similar tests on her company's products long before the state required it. "I'm excited for all of us to be held to the same standards to legitimize the industry and move it forward."

But just like the edibles industry itself, the testing is also a work in progress.

The next step is to connect the data the labs collect with the state's marijuana enforcement division. That process should be finished in the coming weeks.