State Health Department: Mass re-testing of medical cannabis products under way

Published 5:45 pm Thursday, January 4, 2024

JACKSON — Officials with the Medical Cannabis Program within the Mississippi State Department of Health issued a press release on Thursday late afternoon reporting that mass re-testing of certain cannabis products placed on administrative hold began on Wednesday.

The press release went on to report the agency anticipates cleared products will be back on dispensary shelves soon. The re-testing process for all products under the administrative hold is expected to take two to three weeks.  Cleared batches of products will be released each Friday until all products are re-tested, according to the press release.

“The priority for re-testing starts with flower/bud, which serves as the base for many products, followed by concentrates and then infused products,” the press release, issued by Gregory Flynn, director of external affairs, reported.

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“Patient safety is our top priority,” said Laura Goodson, director of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program. “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.”

Thursday afternoon’s press release reported an administrative hold was placed on a large number of products on Dec. 21, 2023, after the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program (MMCP) found discrepancies during an audit of Certificates of Analysis (COA) surrounding original test results for pesticides and mycotoxins completed by Rapid Analytics. An investigation into the discrepancies is ongoing. The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program is covering the cost for all re-testing of products.

Rapid Analytics, a testing laboratory, is based in Natchez. Though it performs an array of tests other than testing cannabis for pesticides, the Mississippi State Department of Health shut the lab down completely.

Its majority owner, Mamie Henry of Natchez, said she has received no information from the state health department about what is going on with the re-testing of products, what company is performing that new testing, or the status of the investigation.

Originally, a spokesman from the state health department reported it had received an anonymous report that Rapid Analytics was not properly testing for pesticides.

Patients are encouraged to contact dispensaries to see what products are available, according to the press release.