December 28, 2023

Administrative hold on large percentage of Mississippi medical marijuana continues

Therese Apel

Photo by Charm Andaya:

The Mississippi State Department of Health continues an administrative hold on a large number of medical cannabis products until retesting can be completed.

The Natchez Democrat reported Monday that the Natchez testing facility Rapid Analytics — one of only two in the state — got a cease and desist letter from the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program ordering them to stop operations. The issue reportedly stemmed from an anonymous tip.

The administrative hold impacts only a portion of the medical cannabis products available throughout the state, though the Democrat reports that 70% of the state’s product are tested by the Natchez lab. The specific circumstances leading to the hold remain under investigation by MSDH, but the retesting is to validate results related to the use of pesticides and presence of mycotoxins. There are no reports of illnesses related to the impacted products.

But the Natchez Democrat reports that none of the medical dispensaries whose cannabis was tested by the Natchez company can sell those products.

MSDH is overseeing the retesting of the medical cannabis products. Retesting is being conducted in licensed medical cannabis testing facilities with validated testing methods in place and approved by MSDH. Retesting is being prioritized based on the type/category of medical cannabis products. For example, cannabis flower/bud will be tested first because it serves as the base for many of the products, followed by concentrates and infused products. As batches of products are cleared, they will be removed from the hold, and be back on the market. Patients are encouraged to contact dispensaries to see what products are available.

The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program remains committed to upholding patient safety throughout this process.

“Through the state’s seed to sale tracking system, the agency can isolate the batch and lot numbers associated with this administrative hold and expedite the retesting. The tracking system is an invaluable tool to assist with regulatory compliance and overall product safety,” said Laura Goodson, Director of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program.

The Mississippi State Department of Health issued the initial hold on December 21, 2023.

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