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Marijuana lab suspended after state finds ‘misleading’ THC results

CARSON CITY — A marijuana testing lab’s license has been suspended after investigators found that it had churned out “inaccurate and misleading” potency results for cannabis products that it had screened.

Certified Ag Labs, a marijuana testing facility in Sparks, became the first lab to have its state license suspended after the state announced that it was investigating cannabis labs to see how products with exceedingly high levels of mold and yeast made it to store shelves for sale as well as allegations of THC manipulation.

“REGISTRATION AND LICENSE SUSPENDED,” a state notice posted on the door of Certified Ag’s business entrance as of Monday afternoon read.

In a press release issued Monday, the department said that products from Certified Ag “may be labeled incorrectly and could contain a different level of THC than what is listed on product packaging.”

Marijuana products are supposed to be tested by state-licensed labs for potency, yeast, mold, pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins before being sold in dispensaries.

Certified Ag managing member Randy Gardner did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Monday. Workers at the lab Monday afternoon said that Gardner was not at the facility, and declined to comment further.

The investigation into testing labs launched in September after a second health advisory in as many months was issued over multiple batches of marijuana being sold in dispensaries that were later shown to test for exceedingly high levels of yeast and mold.

The department announced that investigators would also look into several reports of labs doctoring the results of THC, the chemical that causes users to get high, in products to make them seem more potent to consumers. Generally, products with higher THC potencies also carry a higher price tag.

Gardner told the Review-Journal last month that state investigators had come to his lab twice in a two-day period to collect samples for follow-up tests.

“They just wanted a couple samples,” Gardner said last month, adding that he believes the state has “every right” to conduct the inspections to ensure consistency and compliance from the businesses that are meant to act as the watchdog for the state’s marijuana industry.

“They’ve been very polite, very nice. It’s not confrontational at all. They’re just doing their job,” Gardner said.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead.

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