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August 28, 2020

In today’s top cannabis news the Navajo EPA is investigating alleged Clean Water Act violations, one Oklahoma testing lab is in some major hot water over falsified testing, and Floridians will soon be able to have their cannabis, and eat it too.

The Morning Buzz presented by TRICHOMES brings you late-breaking news that tells you what’s happening within the cannabis industry.


First today, A New Mexico Hemp Farm is Suspected by the Navajo EPA of Clean Water Act Violations

The Navajo Environmental Protection Agency says it suspects a hemp operation in northwestern New Mexico has violated the Clean Water Act – enough to shut down the farming for which it is under investigation.

But NEPA Director Oliver Whaley says his agency needs feedback from the U.S. EPA on how to proceed because the alleged violations are under federal oversight, the Navajo Times reported Thursday.

The Navajo Nation Council amended tribal codes in 2018 to broaden the definition of cannabis. The tribe also said that industrial hemp would not be permitted until the tribal government created a regulatory system and obtained permits for it.

** Next, Oklahoma Plans to Revoke a Cannabis Testing Lab’s License Amid Scandal

According to The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) says it intends to revoke the license of Oklahoma City-based F.A.S.T. Laboratories amid multiple investigations into alleged misconduct, Tulsa World reports.

F.A.S.T. Labs and its owner-operator Kyle Felling are being investigated by the OMMA and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control due to allegations of falsified test results, including passing some samples that officials say may have contained unsafe levels of lead, mold, and bacteria. Regulators accuse Felling specifically of manipulating test results on about 40 separate occasions, some of which included products that failed testing due to lead, staphylococcus aureus, mold, or salmonella, according to the report.

In a motion requesting an administrative hearing over the scandal, OMMA wrote that all of the lab’s toxicology testing data “went through Mr. Felling … even though Mr. Felling was typically in Arkansas and uninvolved with the actual testing of samples.”

The motion also says Felling admitted during an onsite investigation by officials on June 19, 2020, that he had, “altered microbial and heavy metal results.” Follow-up investigations in July, meanwhile, uncovered at least 26 instances in May where residual solvent testing did not occur but the testing lab reported the samples had passed, anyway.

F.A.S.T. Labs is one of 23 testing labs licensed for the Oklahoma medical cannabis industry.

** And the last story is great news for Floridians–the state has added Edibles for their Medical Cannabis Program

The Florida Department of Health quietly approved emergency rules on Wednesday night that establish a regulatory framework for the manufacturing and distribution of medical cannabis-infused edibles, the Miami Herald reports.

The edibles rules are reminiscent of other medical cannabis programs: products cannot be brightly-colored or made into shapes that could be considered appealing to children, they must be properly packaged, and they must not resemble any existing, commercially available candies or other products. The Health Department, which oversees Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use, will require edibles manufacturers to acquire annual food permits costing up to $650 per year.

Allowed edibles products include lozenges, gelatins, baked goods, chocolates, and drink powders.

The edibles rules have been a long time coming — Florida, which voted to legalize medical cannabis four years ago, only just allowed for smokable cannabis products last year.

Cannabis company Trulieve, which operates dozens of dispensaries around the state, said in a Thursday morning press release that the company had prepared a 10,000 square-foot commercial-grade kitchen at its production facility in Quincy for edibles manufacturing. The release also announced new partnerships with specialty edible brands Binske, Bhang, District Edibles, and Love’s Oven.


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