Massachusetts Testing Lab Accuses Cannabis Regulators of Retaliation After CEO Voiced Lab Fraud Concerns

A Massachusetts cannabis testing lab is accusing regulators of opening a retaliatory investigation into the company after their CEO suggested that “enforcement staff may be misusing investigations as a pretext to silence and harass licensees.”

Full story after the jump.

A Massachusetts cannabis testing laboratory is accusing the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) of retaliating against it after its CEO testified to lawmakers about public health concerns and lab fraud related to the state’s cannabis industry, the Boston Herald reports.  

During a hearing Tuesday testifying on bills that would change the way the cannabis industry operates in the state, MCR Labs CEO Michael Kahn said the “CCC enforcement staff may be misusing investigations as a pretext to silence and harass licensees.” 

“I reached out to the CCC with concerns about public health on multiple occasions over the past several years. Instead of listening or taking action, CCC staff, in my opinion, retaliated by opening an investigation into our laboratory.” — Kahn, during his testimony, via the Herald 

Kahn said that after he had given a presentation about lab fraud in the cannabis industry, eight CCC staff arrived at his lab and conducted a six-hour inspection that he described as “unfocused and unprofessional.” He said that the staff demanded about 20,000 pages of documents and about 30,000 hours of video.  

Dan Delaney, executive director of the Association of Cannabis Testing Laboratories, told lawmakers that Kahn’s experience is not unique. 

“Licensees recognize the power that the CCC has and understandably fear retaliation if they contest the commission’s intent or actions,” he testified to the panel. “I’ve heard it from other labs, and I’ve heard it from other licensees outside the lab testing space. The real problem is structural.” 

In a statement to the Herald, the CCC confirmed it “has several ongoing enforcement matters regarding MCR Labs.”  

“Relative to this licensee’s testimony, Commission staff completed an unannounced inspection in March 2023 at another Independent Testing Lab (ITL) the week prior to the MCR Labs inspection for some of the same reasons and looking for similar records,” a CCC spokesperson told the Herald. “With regards to other investigations referenced during the hearing that remain ongoing, the agency will not comment at this time.” 

The legislative panel was hearing testimony on S.58 and H.106, which aims to establish an internal special audit unit within the Cannabis Control Commission. 

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