‘Unreliable testing’ prompts Michigan to issue first license suspension

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued its first license suspension of a marijuana business on Friday, alleging Iron Laboratories in Walled Lake conducted unreliable tests for things like mold and pesticide and in some cases failed to properly report results.

Iron Laboratories is operating as a safety compliance facility under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, meaning it performs quality assurance tests on marijuana and marijuana products.

"It is imperative that our licensees follow the rules and laws, especially regarding the testing of medical marijuana product,” said MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo in a statement.

“We are intensely focused on making sure that the marijuana product in the regulated industry meets established safety standards.”

In a safety bulletin, the MRA advised patients and caregivers to use caution when using products tested by the lab, as the agency had “identified inaccurate results and/or unreliable testing and reporting practices."

A complaint filed by Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office details incidents in which the company allegedly failed to meet state standards, including:

- Finding the pesticide Myclobutanil in a marijuana sample at twice the legal limit, but failing to report it through the state monitoring system

- Reporting a finding of no yeast and mold on two batches of marijuana that failed the test at a previous lab, a finding the Attorney General’s filing called “scientifically implausible”

- Failing to report an edible product that exceeded THC concentrations to the MRA or monitoring system

- In one batch of samples, reporting results from those that tested at acceptable levels for a pesticide, but failing to report those that failed the test in the statewide monitoring system

- Having five packages of marijuana without a tracking label on it during a state compliance visit

The MRA summarily suspended the company’s license over the alleged violations effective immediately.

“Michigan’s marijuana laws and rules were established to provide safe sources of medical marijuana to Michigan residents,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel in a press release.

“Accurate testing and transparent reporting are critical to ensuring a safe product, and misleading or unreliable information only impedes that process. Our office is committed to working closely with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency to take action against those facilities that disregard the rules to the detriment of the public and industry fairness.”

David Harns, a spokesperson for the MRA, said the agency will schedule a hearing to determine if the summary suspension stays in place as the investigation continues.

MLive reached a partner for Iron Laboratories Friday afternoon who said the company would soon issue a statement.

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