Oklahoma Lab Shuttered: Whistleblower Reports Heavy Metal Testing Failures, Code Violations

Since the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority started requiring our leafy green and its products be tested by licensed labs we’ve seen all kinds of problems. Remember F.A.S.T Labs? Here comes another that might just make that scandal look like child’s play.

According to a KFOR report published Monday, Oklahoma City-based Nationwide Engineering and Testing in NE OKC has been shuttered by the fire department and is under investigation by OMMA after disturbing allegations by an ex-employee:

“My greatest fear is that kids are going to be consuming contaminated products,” Nathan Tewes told KFOR.

Tewes contacted News 4 with allegations against Nationwide Engineering and Testing, a medical marijuana lab in NE OKC, where he once worked.

“Heavy metals tests are not being performed,” he said.

Well, that’s not good. I’m sure all the dirty growers just looking to make a dime know exactly where to take their heavy metal-contaminated cannabis to get “tested.” Heavy metals represent a major health risk to consumers, which is especially infuriating for somebody who truly uses cannabis for a medical purpose.

I’ve started to second guess what I can and can’t trust at the dispensary. I want cannabis to improve my health, not destroy its very foundation. Turns out I am not the only one freaked out by this.

“My greatest fear is that kids are going to be consuming contaminated products,” Nathan Tewes told KFOR.

Tewes points out that consuming heavy metals is not so swell on the old noggin. Scientists agree that exposure of the human body to heavy metal can progressively lead to muscular, physical and neurological degenerative processes that are similar to diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Alzheimer’s disease.

I for one do not need anything else wrong with my brain. It already has enough issues. Kids especially don’t need to be consuming contaminated products while their brains are in such a critical stage of development.

The problems reportedly went well beyond simply not having proper permitting and skipping the critical testing for heavy metals; the whole operation described in the local news story seems messy.

The owners of Nationwide could take some lessons from Walter White on how to operate a lab. The Oklahoma City Fire Department had a few issues with how they stored hazardous/explosive materials, according to the KFOR report:

“They had issues with some insecure gas tanks, compressed gas tanks, unsecured, some exposed electrical wiring and also some hazardous materials, kind of just sitting out in the open,” Chief Prince Morgan, OKCFD code enforcement said.

Tewes also ratted out brought his concerns to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority the same day he contacted KFOR. He said he has seen similar violations at other labs he has worked for and reported those as well. In a proud dad voice, Tewes said,

“They are getting on top of this and I can guarantee you that,”

And they did. OMMA confirmed to KFOR they are all over it. Thank you Mr. Tewes for being our Superman in your yellow pants! Making sure our medical marijuana is not poisoned is a big fucking deal to about 8% of Oklahomans. You can bet we will be following this story as it develops.

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