Michigan Officials Question High THC Weed Lab Results
Questions arise after Michigan regulators filed formal complaints against one of the state’s top cannabis testing laboratories last month. Cannabis that tests over 28% THC, and at times over 40%, is subject for an automatic audit, and regulators say the lab results aren’t adding up. Formal complaints were filed by the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) in May against Viridis Laboratories, one of the leading lab testing companies in the state, but the lab is in turn firing back with its own countersuit. The CRA noted discrepancies in Viridis Laboratories lab results since December 2020, according to formal complaints the CRA filed on May 19. Often consumers question the THC content found in lab results, however THC level alone is not a reliable indicator of potency in all cases. Conversely, there is enormous pressure to drive up THC levels across the board as it is one of the biggest drivers of cannabis sales. “Potency inflation is an ongoing, longstanding, widely known issue across cannabis in the U.S. right now in legal markets … ” Lev Spivak-Birndorf, founder and chief science officer for Ann Arbor-based PSI Labs, told MLive. “I call it the cycle of potency inflation: people want high potency, so then stores are under pressure to try and deliver that … and that drives growers to seek labs that give the highest results, and thus, we have this rampant lab shopping that we have going on.” Per CRA policy, agents will audit results for any flower that tests over 28% THC. And according to the complaints, Viridis samples hit this range 8.9% of the time, which is reportedly higher than most labs across the state. Viridis was also subject to the largest cannabis recall in the state’s history. The MRA recalled an estimated 64,000 pounds of cannabis valued at…
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