Maine marijuana testing lab closed over licensing issue

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(This story has been updated with more information from Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy.)

Massachusetts-based marijuana testing company ProVerde Laboratories shut down its Portland, Maine, location after municipal authorities said it was operating without the necessary local authorizations.

The closure was first reported by the Portland Press Herald.

A December evaluation by Portland authorities “revealed that (ProVerde was) operating a marijuana business out of the commercial property at 220 Industrial Way without a permit, certificate of occupancy, or business license,” according to a notice of violation dated Dec. 15 and shared with Marijuana Business Daily by city officials.

A permit application to change the status of the unit from a warehouse or storage location to a laboratory “is still in review and has not been approved or issued at this time,” according to the notice.

“You currently do not have city approval to operate a marijuana business, as you have not completed the change of use process and do not have a certificate of occupancy for laboratory use.”

ProVerde also hasn’t applied for a “marijuana testing facility business license,” the notice said.

City officials warned ProVerde that if it didn’t stop operating, it could be disqualified from holding a marijuana business license in Portland for five years.

A reinspection is scheduled for Feb. 2, according to the notice.

ProVerde did not immediately respond to requests for comment from MJBizDaily on Wednesday.

However, the company’s Chief Scientific Officer Christopher Hudalla told the Press Herald “he was not aware licensing was required for medical marijuana testing, only recreational or adult use, and is seeking clarification from officials.”

ProVerde received a temporary license from Portland in April 2020 that has since expired, the Press Herald reported.

Hudalla told the newspaper the company plans to get another license.

Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) said the state has “at least seven establishments currently or soon-to-be providing testing services of some form to medical marijuana-related businesses in Maine,” including ProVerde.

“Testing is only mandatory in Maine’s adult use marijuana program,” OMP spokesman David Heidrich wrote in an email to MJBizDaily.

“So for the last several years, testing facilities operating in Maine have been providing voluntary testing to interested medical registrants and have not been formally registered with OMP.”

– Solomon Israel