The sixth Nevada State Independent Laboratory Advisory Committee (ILAC) meeting met Wednesday in Carson City. The Agenda covered proficiency testing and several bills that were passed by the Nevada Legislature in the last week of the 2015 Nevada Legislative Session. While the May ILAC meeting clarified testing requirements, ostensibly allowing labs to move forward with testing, the outlook for Nevada MMEs is uncertain after July 1st, when new legislation, Senate Bill 447, goes into effect. Key points from the June 3, 2015 ILAC meeting included:
SB 447 and Pesticides
What happened: SB 447 was enrolled and delivered to the Governor on May 30th. The bill will become law unless vetoed by the Governor, which is not expected. The bill was brought forward by law enforcement for the regulation of concentrated cannabis but through the legislative process was saddled with several amendments including: (1) Authorization for MMEs to relocate within the same jurisdiction, (2) authorization for an MME to transport medical marijuana to another MME or contract with a third party for transportation services. and (3) delegation of the establishment and publication of a pesticide list for use on medical marijuana to the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA). Section 27 of the statute authorizes use of the following substances as pesticides on medical marijuana:
- Substances exempt from registration pursuant to 40 C.F.R. § 152.25 (i.e., the 25(b) list); or
- Crop group 19 pesticides, as defined in 40 C.F.R. § 180.41(c)26, hops or unspecified crops or plants.
The NDA is also required to accept requests to add pesticides to the list. Based on comments from the Division, it appears this statute will supersede the current pesticide policy and limits published by the Division, effective July 1st 2015.
What it means for MMEs:
The NDA was not present at the meeting to directly comment on Senate Bill 447 and the pesticide issue. However, information provided by officials during the ILAC meeting, it seems the NDA may not be willing or able to publish an approved list of pesticides for use on medical marijuana. Based on the information presented, the NDA is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and is unable to make any “off label” recommendations for pesticides that are not specifically approved by the EPA for marijuana. Currently, the EPA does not identify any pesticides for use on marijuana, making any substance, including those identified in Section 27 of the new statute, illegal. Should the NDA decide not to publish a list, this could leave both cultivators and laboratories unable to certify or sell product effective July 1st.
This revelation causes significant concern as it could potentially delay the certification and sale of patient medication. Our hope is that the NDA and the Division are able to quickly develop a pesticide plan which allows the industry to move forward.
For a complete summary of SB 447 and other approved bills that affect NRS 453A, please contact DPBH
What happened: The Division continues to work towards developing a proficiency testing mechanism to ensure that laboratories are capable of accurately analyzing and reporting medical marijuana testing results. The Division has decided to contract the proficiency testing out to a third party company. To date, they have identified, the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board, the Laboratory Accreditation Bureau and A2LA as potential contractors. An internal meeting will be held at the Division next week to further develop the process.
What it means for MMEs
Proficiency testing and strict quality standards for laboratories are critical components of the Nevada medical marijuana program, as they ensure laboratories fulfill their responsibility to report accurate testing results for patient medication. Additionally, development and implementation of these components serve to validate the capabilities of independent testing laboratories.
374 Labs Grand Opening Mixer
You are invited! On Friday June 12th from 3-7pm, 374 Labs will be holding an open house mixer at our laboratory with food, drink and additional information on the testing process and state requirement.