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Major Cannabis Testing Lab’s License Suspended As Medicine Remains on Hold in Mississippi

The largest of Mississippi’s two medical marijuana testing labs has had its license temporarily suspended while a third party retests medical-cannabis products that the Mississippi State Department of Health placed on an administrative hold in December.

The suspended lab, Rapid Analytics in Natchez, Miss., tests about 70% of medical cannabis in the state. In a statement on Jan. 4, MSDH gave a timeline of two to three weeks before all products are back on dispensary shelves. The remaining lab, Steep Hill Mississippi in Jackson, Miss., remains operational.

Mississippi Independent Cannabis Association Executive Director Mike Watkins said both labs tested the same cannabis sample, but Rapid Analytics’ sample showed impurities while Steep Hill’s did not. MSDH halted sales of certain medical-cannabis products Rapid Analytics tested on Dec. 21 following a tip. MSDH has not revealed the source of the tip.

“I can’t say what’s right and what’s wrong, but I can say from what I hear, the State was worried about the discrepancies and that there was enough build-up to warrant this,” Watkins told the Mississippi Free Press this morning.

Rapid Analytics is not retesting the cannabis products after the health department temporarily suspended its license, Watkins said, adding that he did not know who was retesting them.

MSDH will release approved batches each Friday until the lab retests all products, and the lab will start analyzing cannabis flower first because it’s the “base for many products,” MSDH said in its Jan. 4 statement. The lab will then test cannabis concentrates and infusions.

Many medical-cannabis products are still on shelves at dispensaries for patients to purchase. The health department encourages patients to call dispensaries to ask which products are available.

“Patient safety is our top priority,” Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program Director Laura Goodson said in the Jan. 4 MSDH press release. “We are tasked with making sure all test results meet the regulatory standards and that approved products are available to those in the medical cannabis program.”

Watkins wanted to assure patients that the health department and Mississippi medical cannabis investors are working hard to get products back on shelves as

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