Local marijuana dispensaries able to sell products during administrative hold
Published 12:22 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023
BROOKHAVEN — Local dispensaries were fortunate enough to still have cannabis products on the shelves this week. Issues with testing at a Mississippi facility has put 50 to 80 percent of products at The Cannabis Company and Magnolia Greens Dispensary in quarantine.
An anonymous tip called into the Mississippi Department of Health is causing the quarantine of cannabis products, Heather Harrison with Mississippi Free Press reported last Friday. Rapid Analytics Cannabis, a testing facility in Natchez, was allegedly not conducting the proper procedure for testing pesticides according to the MSDH. An administrative hold by the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program has been enacted. Dr. Dennis Sanders with Magnolia Greens Dispensary said the hold should not affect any products already sold.
Re-testing of the products from Rapid Analytics will have to be done before they can be sold. Once products pass the re-testing the administrative hold will be lifted and products will be available for sale again.
“The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program is taking swift action to address the situation, with retesting being done as quickly as possible,” a release from the program said. “The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program is committed to upholding the highest standards of product quality and patient safety. Please know that the MMCP is working diligently to resolve this matter and will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available… Patients should stay in contact with their dispensary to see what products are available.”
Sanders said the majority of dispensaries in Mississippi either have every product in quarantine or 50 to 80 percent of their products in quarantine. Luckily, Magnolia Greens, located at 101 Whitebrook Drive in Brookhaven, has products for sale from testing facility Sleep Hill.
“All of us had to put those products tested by Rapid Analytics in the back. Some were unfortunate to have everything tested there and would have to either buy new products or close down. Others such as myself got products from multiple places,” Sanders said. “All of our Sleep Hill products can be sold but everything from Rapid Analytics has to wait. Some of the products have already started to come off of the quarantine list. We still have products for sale.”
Locally owned dispensary The Cannabis Company, located at 939 Brookway Boulevard Suite L, is also affected by the administrative hold. The company is still able to sell products but 75 percent of the inventory is in quarantine currently.
The Cannabis Company owner Mitch Parker said things had been running smoothly until the small hiccup.
Parker added there are a lot of unknowns currently about what will happen to the retested products and who will pick up the tab for retesting. He said they are trying to weigh out their options to figure out how to best respond to the situation.
“We are having to go through each product and make sure the quarantined products are isolated and continue until the state gives us confirmation. If they will allow those to be sold is unknown,” Parker said. “There are other products by the other test facility we can utilize. We will be doing so to increase our inventory until the other products are done with retesting.”
“Our patient counts are increasing and we are seeing new patients on a regular basis,” Parker said. “They are getting their medical cards and we are seeing a number of patients. We have picked up a few patients from a store that closed down the road from us. We have been blessed in this location. We want to continue providing these products with the best service we can provide. Our biggest motto since we started is we want to be in it for the patient and not for profit. If we take care of the patients then they will take care of the rest.”
The hold will not affect Brookhaven’s branch of Good Day Farm because it permanently closed its doors at the end of November.
Magnolia Greens reported the first year has been slow but business is starting to pick up. Sanders said they kind of expected a slow start and patient counts would eventually increase going into year two of the medical marijuana program.
“Things have picked up as more people got into the program. More people have come in and more products have come in. We expect things to be more robust next year,” Sanders said. “We hope as time progresses there will be changes in legislation to give patients more freedom and hopefully increase the patient count and make everything better for everyone in the grand scheme of things. We are looking forward with great optimism.”