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Michigan marijuana testing lab reaches settlement to eventually reopen



A Michigan medical marijuana testing lab that was shut down for compliance violations in August reached an agreement with the state on Thursday that will enable it to eventually reopen.

Walled Lake-based Iron Laboratories agreed to pay a $100,000 fine and update its procedures and practices as part of an agreement with the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).

State regulators shut down Iron Laboratories on Aug. 16 after it was accused of a “history of noncompliance” related to testing for contaminants in cannabis products sold at dispensaries. Regulators accused the lab of falsifying or inaccurately reporting results for pesticides, yeast, chemical residue, mold, and heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and chromium.

The MRA cautioned medical marijuana cardholders in August that testing conducted by Iron Laboratories “may not be reliable.”

“While we are pleased that the licensee worked quickly to resolve these issues, it is clear that these actions never should have happened in the first place,” MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo said in a news release. “It is imperative that our safety compliance facilities — and all of our licensees — adhere strictly to the law and the administrative rules. The diligence with which our enforcement team investigated and brought these issues to light demonstrates the commitment that the MRA has in protecting marijuana patients here in Michigan.”

The lab may reopen once it meets the conditions in the settlement agreement. It's unclear when that will happen.

The settlement comes amid a lung illness outbreak primarily linked to tainted, black market cannabis vaping products. In Michigan, more than 30 residents have come down with the illness, and one died last week.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said accurate testing is critical to ensuring cannabis is safe.

“Michigan’s marijuana laws and rules were established to provide safe sources of medical marijuana to Michigan residents,” Nessel said in the news release. “Accurate testing and transparent reporting are critical to ensuring a safe product, and misleading or unreliable information only impedes that process. Our office is committed to working closely with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency to take action against those facilities that disregard the rules to the detriment of the public and industry fairness.”

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