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A look at one of three of the state’s quality assurance labs that will test marijuana for medical use. Steep Hill Hawaii will test marijuana for dispensaries across the islands.

Chemists will use machines to test for potency,  pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.

This comes as the state health department approved three of the eight medical marijuana dispensaries to start growing.

“We test for the compounds that are naturally present in cannabis; the cannabanoids that either give you the psychoactive effect or the healing effect in the body,” Michael Covington of Steep Hill Hawaii said.

“The whole process, in terms of turnaround time is one to three days, depending on what the client wants” David Gilles, Vice President of Scientific Operations at Steep Hill Hawaii said.

The state health department says more than 13,000 people in Hawaii use medical marijuana legally.

This year, the team at Steep Hill will be pushing a senate bill that would allow cardholders to get their home-grown crops tested.

Editors Note: State DOH now reports more than 15,000 patients in Hawaii. Majority of patients live on Hawaii Island.