As the State of Michigan continues to moves forward in developing rules to implement the State’s new Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) today reached out for the third time to seek stakeholder input on critical issues. This time, LARA is asking for feedback on questions pertaining to safety testing of marihuana and marihuana infused products.
Specifically, the Director of LARA, Shelly Edgerton, issued the following statement and request:
As you may be aware, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) may consider holding discussions regarding the new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, 2016 PA 281, to examine the issues and get feedback from those who have expressed interest in certain related topics or the new law in general. Similarly, LARA is currently seeking comments from interested parties on the topic of marihuana safety testing as it relates to the licensed categories. The purpose of this document is to gather information only, and it is not meant to interfere with the authority of the Board or Advisory Panel procedures when these panels are appointed as provided under the Act. To that end we are asking for your input by responding to the questions below. We are only asking for brief answers, or comments limited to a short paragraph or a few sentences. Please provide your responses by 5:00 p.m., Monday, April 10th, 2017. After the responses are compiled, a meeting and/or conference call may be scheduled if appropriate to review the responses and receive additional input. Please submit your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Department in consultation with the Board is required to establish testing standards, procedures, and requirements for marihuana. What testing standards should be considered mandatory and what are acceptable levels (e.g. maximum thresholds/limits)?
- Should proficiency testing be used for safety compliance oversight?
- Should the testing of marihuana be required at each facility point by licensed growers, processors, and provisioning centers (in other words, at which point(s) in the supply chain should testing be required)?
- Should testing be required of every batch of marihuana and if so, what is an appropriate sample size for testing from a batch?
- When a sample is received for testing should the rest of the batch be sequestered and if so, by what method?
- What accreditation standard should be used for safety compliance facilities and why?
- Should the THC content and possible allergens contained in the product be labeled on marijuana infused products?
We anticipate that LARA will continue to solicit stakeholder input, although LARA’s statement again notes that its work on the rules is to be in consultation with the yet-to-be-appointed Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Board and Advisory Panel. Given that the formal roles of advisory panels are fairly limited under the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act, the new Board and LARA will have some discretion with respect to how deeply they involve the Advisory Panel. While it remains to be seen what opportunities will be provided for public input into the rulemaking process (apart from those required under the APA), LARA’s continued outreach to the industry is promising.