California marijuana testing lab sues state over revoked license

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A San Francisco Bay Area marijuana testing lab whose business license was revoked earlier this month filed suit against California regulators, claiming its right to due process was violated because there’s no appeals process.

According to the lawsuit, filed Thursday in Alameda County Superior Court, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) on Feb. 4 yanked the testing license of Hayward-based Harrens Lab over allegations that the company:

  • Isn’t able to take solid representative testing samples.
  • Broke state rules by using a third-party courier to ship cannabis samples.
  • Failed to generate shipping manifests before transporting marijuana goods.
  • Shipped marijuana samples and goods without state-mandated Metrc labels.
  • Modified the lab premises without the agency’s approval.
  • Didn’t install a required video surveillance system.

Harrens Lab denies the allegations, but the company has been shuttered since the revocation, according to the suit.

According to Harrens, the BCC said that because the lab was operating under a provisional – not an annual – business license, there’s no established appeals process under state law for the company.

But as Harrens’ attorney, James Anthony, noted in an email to Marijuana Business Daily, most of the cannabis businesses in California still operate under provisional licenses because it takes months, if not years, to wade through the red tape necessary to gain an annual permit.

“Almost the entire multi-billion dollar industry is running on provisionals – 7,093 provisionals to 1,661 annuals” – as of Oct. 15 last year, Anthony wrote.

The BCC declined to comment to MJBizDaily.

Harrens’ lawsuit requests a temporary stay and protective order against the license revocation, which would allow the business to reopen almost immediately, Anthony said via email.

– John Schroyer