Lab testing is a key factor in most legal cannabis markets. Most immediately, this is what helps ensure that the products consumers purchase are not contaminated with harmful substances such as mold, yeast, pesticides, or other chemicals.
It’s also one of the ways that weed-legal states try to ensure a certain level of uniformity in terms of telling consumers the potency of different products.
Ultimately, lab tests serve a number of functions as more and more governments begin figuring out how to regulate a legal marijuana industry.
Yesterday, Nevada state authorities suspended the license of a marijuana testing lab. Authorities now claim that the lab was falsifying THC potency in products moving through its labs.
According to local media reports from Nevada, cannabis testing company Certified Ag Labs recently had its license suspended by the state.
A notice reading “registration and license suspended” was reportedly posted to the company’s facility in Sparks, Nevada on Monday.
At this point, representatives from Certified Ag Labs have not been communicating with the media. But the Nevada Department of Taxation issued a statement about the license suspension.
“Products tested by Certified Ag Labs, LLC may be labeled incorrectly and could contain a different level of THC than what is listed on product packaging,” the department’s public notice said.
“The Department advises all legal cannabis users to take caution when using product tested by Certified Ag Labs, LLC and when comparing any similar products of the same potency, as those effects may be greater and/or less than that of the product tested by Certifed Ag Labs, LLC.”
For now, Certified Ag Labs is no longer allowed to operate. But it is unclear if the suspension is permanent.
Similarly, if the suspension is temporary, it is unclear when the state might allow the company to resume operations. It is also unclear what requirements the company will need to comply with in order to reactivate its license.
This is not the first problem regulators in Nevada have had with marijuana testing labs. In fact, there have been a few other problems over the past couple months.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, state authorities have actually been investigating labs more closely in recent months. These investigations came about after cannabis products with inadmissible levels of mold and yeast were approved by labs.
State authorities reportedly began investigating labs more closely in September. In July and August, there were problems with moldy weed making it onto the shelves of retailers.
Under Nevada law, all cannabis products must be tested by a state-licensed lab. Specifically, these tests screen for mold and yeast, which can be harmful to consumers.
Additionally, these labs are also supposed to screen for harmful contaminants. These could include pesticides, fertilizers, or fungicides from the growing process. Or it could include other contaminants such as heavy metals.
Finally, state labs are also supposed to test for THC levels. THC content is then listed on product labels before being sold to consumers.
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