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Nevada Testing Lab May Lose License For Microbial Contaminants and Altered THC Results

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Sep 30, 2022   

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A Las Vegas-based cannabis testing lab may lose its license after allegedly inflating THC potency results.

The prediction follows a decision of Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) on Tuesday, September 27, to deny the lab’s motion to dismiss the case.

As first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the CCB voted unanimously to reject Lettucetest LCC’s motion to the dismiss disciplinary action that could see the cannabis lab lose its license and be barred from operating for 10 years.

What happens in Vegas, leads to disciplinary action

Lettucetest LCC, formerly known as Cannex Nevada LLC, first came under scrutiny during a routine inspection of the company’s facility in December 2019. That inspection, according to the CCB, revealed multiple violations of state regulations.

Notably, cannabis products that were recorded as having failed microbial contaminant tests were later approved by the lab. Products from the local company THC Nevada were repeatedly found to have breached safe levels of total Enterobacteriaceae and yet were still approved as safe.

Inspectors also found the level of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) expertise among lab staff lacking. Delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC HPLC peaks reportedly weren’t being recorded correctly. When the lab’s director was confronted with this finding, they reportedly said it didn’t matter.

Given these findings and other violations, the CCB issued a complaint to Lettucetest in January 2021.

Yet, in a CCB meeting earlier this month, the lab argued that the disciplinary charges should be dropped. This motion partly argued that, as the CCB was technically not the CCB at the time of the inspection (the board was formally established in July 2020), it lacked the authority to penalize the lab.

But in a meeting on September 27, the CCB unanimously agreed to dismiss Lettucetest’s case.

“As for preservation of evidence, there were some issues about testing samples,” Michael Douglas, the CCB’s chairman, said during the meeting. “There were some issues about an individual witness that had later [been] subpoenaed by the state. That wasn’t brought forward until late in the process by the licensee. For those reasons, I would support a motion to deny the motion to dismiss.”

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Lettucetest is could now well lose its license and be barred from operating for 10 years. Exactly when this disciplinary action could come isn’t yet known.

“After the Board signs a written order on the motions to dismiss, it will then set a date for the adjudication of the disciplinary matter,” a CCB representative told Analytical Cannabis in an email. “Thus, the date for the adjudication is not yet known.”

 

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