The Nevada Tax Commission has approved two settlements with marijuana companies accused of not keeping accurate records and, in one case, yielding THC levels that were 9-10 percent higher than what an independent re-test yielded.
The approvals came Feb. 13 during a teleconference meeting of the commission members. The items were initially listed on the consent agenda, meaning they were not supposed to be open for discussion, but were later pulled for comments from commission members.
Taxation officials’ complaint against Sparks-based Certified Ag Labs said the testing laboratory provided measurements of THC, the chemical in marijuana that creates a “high,” that were elevated from what they were when they were re-tested.
The complaint also alleged a list of additional regulatory violations, including failure to maintain surveillance and alarm systems, “unintentionally destroying or concealing evidence” by failing to keep a failed sample for at least 30 days, failure to destroy waste marijuana and failure to properly maintain data in the state’s seed-to-sale tracking system.
In all, the penalties for the violations would have totaled $107,500. But the laboratory is admitting no liability, and agreed to a settlement of $70,000. It also served a suspension and was closed for 30 days this winter.
Proprietors of other labs argued in public comment that the state should have been harsher on the lab and revoked its license. Dr. Bruce Burnett, who founded a different cannabis testing lab, argued that the state’s penalty “makes a mockery” of the regulations set by lawmakers.
Questions remain about the status of the lab’s past discipline, with some critics arguing any past discipline against the lab should have increased the penalty approved Feb. 13.
The Nevada Department of Taxation and the lab itself said in 2018 that the lab had been suspended, but agency director Melanie Young said after the meeting on