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Local testing lab asking for regulations after finding illegal THC levels, pesticides in gas station products

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Steep Hill Mississippi, the state’s first licensed medical marijuana testing lab, is calling for legislators to enact regulations against products containing cannabis that are sold at local gas stations and convenience stores.

Lab officials released a report on Tuesday claiming that an array of over-the-counter products infused with untested levels of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be found in countless stores across Mississippi, posing a threat to customers unaware of loopholes discovered in federal and state law.

Steep Hill Mississippi’s CEO and co-founder Cliff Osbon explained during an interview on The Gallo Show that the products became available after the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 legalized the sale of industrial hemp containing a THC concentration of 0.3 percent or lower.

Since then, customers have been able to purchase items claiming to have small doses of cannabis at local gas stations and convenience stores despite studies showing they produce THC levels exponentially higher than the legal limit.

“We picked up 14 samples in different gas stations and convenience stores around Rankin County, some in Flowood, and some out of the county,” Osbon said. “We found products that would generate 12 and 14 percent Delta 9 THC when smoked, and that’s almost equivalent to the product medical marijuana users can get.”

Osbon continued, explaining that the majority of the samples tested at Steep Hill’s lab contained materials that could be fatal to consumers, such as pesticides.

“We found one sample that would have failed on the pesticide test on eight different pesticides,” Osbon said. “These pesticides are dangerous. They cause tremors, muscle weakness, seizures, and in high enough concentrations they can be fatal.”

During the test, one of the pesticides was reported to be 20 times higher than the legal limit set by the Department of Health, while two additional pesticides totaled in at 17 times more.

Steep Hill scientists found the following toxic contaminants in the products:

  • Bifenazate
  • Chlorantraniliprole
  • Diazinon
  • Malathion
  • Metalaxyl
  • Myclobutanil
  • Permethrins
  • Spinosad

Osbon added that the lab found that every brand of pre-rolled marijuana tested 30 to 40 times the legal limit of THC, as well as that there were no age restrictions posted on who could purchase the products at the stores.

“That 12 and 14 percent that we saw, it can seriously impair people,” Osbon said. “We are talking about people that might think they bought some low-potency legal product and might get into a condition where they couldn’t safely drive or make decisions. I think there is significant risk there.”

The full interview with Osbon can be watched below.

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