Massachusetts marijuana testing lab accuses regulators of retaliation

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The founder and CEO of a marijuana testing lab in Massachusetts is accusing state regulators of “fraud, waste and abuse” as well as retaliation against those raising concerns.

In testimony given to the state’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy last week, Michael Kahn, of Framingham-based MCR Labs, said he raised “serious health concerns” about testing-lab conduct, the Boston Herald reported.

In response, the state Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) “retaliated” against Kahn by launching an investigation into his business, he told the committee.

Six CCC staffers arrived at Kahn’s lab and demanded tens of thousands of hours of video-surveillance footage and tens of thousands of pages of documents, he said.

“I reached out to the CCC with concerns about public health on multiple occasions over the past several years,” Kahn said, according to the Herald.

“Instead of listening or taking action, CCC staff, in my opinion, retaliated by opening an investigation into our laboratory.”

Kahn, whose company was one of the first licensed marijuana testing labs in Massachusetts, did not respond to an MJBizDaily request for comment.

MCR Labs had at least one documented run-in with the CCC in 2019.

A CCC spokesperson told the Herald there are “several ongoing enforcement matters regarding MCR Labs” and that regulators conducted another unannounced inspection at another, unidentified laboratory before the MCR action.

The CCC declined to comment further.

Kahn was testifying in support of two measures – Senate Bill 58 and House Bill 106 – that would create an independent “internal special audit unit” within the CCC.

Under the bills, such a unit would answer to the state inspector general rather than the CCC’s executive director.

“I believe CCC enforcement staff may be misusing investigations as a pretext to silence and harass licensees,” Kahn said.

Critics say the CCC needs external oversight rather than self-regulation.

This situation comes at a time when marijuana testing labs across the United States are routinely being accused of inflating THC results.

Less often, labs have been accused of jiggering results to please clients.