Region & State

Patient sues Arkansas medical marijuana growers, lab over alleged THC inflation

By HUNTER FIELD | Arkansas Advocate

A new civil lawsuit accuses Arkansas’ largest cannabis testing lab of conspiring with medical marijuana cultivators to inflate the amount of THC in certain products.

An elderly, chronic pain patient targets cultivators BOLD Team, Osage Creek Cultivation and Natural State Medicinals as well as Steep Hill testing lab in the litigation. 

The complaint filed Thursday in Pulaski County Circuit Court points to third-party test results and statistical analysis to raise questions about Steep Hill’s test results, which are printed on individual products sold at dispensaries. 

The suit alleges that Steep Hill inflates the amount of THC in the cultivators’ cannabis products, and in return, the cultivators have an incentive to use Steep Hill’s lab. 

“Marijuana flower with higher concentration of THC is more valuable,” the suit reads. “So there is incentive to exaggerate the THC content of flower — it can be sold for more money. As a result, cultivators often choose a lab that reports the highest THC value, a phenomenon known as ‘lab shopping.’” 

Steep Hill’s CEO denied the allegations in the lawsuit and said the company would seek to have it dismissed.

The litigation is likely to garner attention from across the U.S. as its claims mirror growing national concerns about THC inflation and “lab shopping.” 

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