Nevada is the latest US state to crack down on cannabis testing labs. The lockdown on marijuana testing labs is yet another example of the industry increasing its awareness of the problems related to cannabis strain potency and possible contaminant testing.
The Nevada CCB (Cannabis Compliance Board) rejected a motion in late September. The motion dismissed a disciplinary action aimed at a Las Vegas-based testing lab. The lab, formerly known as Cannex Nevada, now goes by Lettucetest.
Lettucetest currently faces the possibility of revoking its license, tens of thousands of dollars in fines, and a 10-year suspension from the cannabis industry over allegations that the company falsely boosted the THC potency numbers and allowed contaminated cannabis products into the market.
Will Adler, the director of Reno-based Sierra Cannabis Coalition (SCC), commented on the crackdown stating that the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board has taken a bold and correct step in finalizing its proceedings by summoning Lettucetest to a hearing on the current charges that have been levied against them in 2021.
Lettucetest’s lawyer believes that the company has taken the correct steps to fix any problems amounting to and contributing to the charges and argues that the current case should be dismissed.
Nevada’s regulatory crackdown stems from testing labs around the United States facing growing allegations of falsely increasing the THC potency numbers within cannabis, allowing contaminated products to be released into the cannabis market, and marijuana businesses shopping around for favorable laboratory results.
Florida regulators targeted several testing laboratories for compliance violations in the summer. In July, three medical marijuana patients in Arkansas filed a federal civil lawsuit against four medical marijuana companies on the premise that the companies in question conspired to defraud customers by falsely advertising the cannabis potency testing results.
The class action lawsuit further alleges that a prominent state marijuana testing lab had intentionally inflated the amount of THC in its customer’s cannabis flower on behalf of at least three cannabis growers, who are also named among the trial defendants.
What Are The Next Steps For Lettucetest?
Adler mentioned that Nevada’s marijuana testing regulations are outdated and have not been updated since the state’s medical marijuana market in 2015.
“Coincidentally, the lack of any substantial regulatory update within Nevada’s testing regulations has created a regulatory consistency for marijuana laboratory testing and has most likely given the CCB the confidence to further follow through on the Nevada Department of Taxation’s previous and current investigations and ultimate charges against Lettucetest,” Adler states.
The following steps for Lettucetest remain unclear, as the state has to sign a written motion to dismiss its current civil case.
Once the state signs the motion to dismiss, it will have to set a date for adjudicating the disciplinary matter.
Before the Nevada compliance board’s 2021 complaint that motioned the current case, the state had already fined the company twice for regulatory breaches.
Regulators want to fine the company roughly $62,500 on top of the 10-year industry ban.
When the CCB began its investigation, it mentioned that it had uncovered a pattern of systemic violations. State inspectors also stated that they had found more than a dozen alleged violations involving increased THC potency numbers.
During the special board meeting concerning the case, Kimberly Maxson-Rushton, a partner in the Las Vegas office of Cooper Levenson, argued on behalf of Lettucetest, saying that it is essential to note the current allegations date back to 2019.
Maxson-Rushton further stated that each of the allegations directed towards Lettucetest had been remedied by the respondents, either at the time of the 2019 audit, investigation, or inspection or immediately upon the receipt of a statement of deficiencies from the cannabis enforcement board.
Maxson-Rushton argued that the board should dismiss the civil case because the complaint was the same as what had already been corrected.
The date for Lettucetest’s next hearing has not been set.
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