Judge issues $6.3 million judgment against Mississippi cannabis testing lab

Published 5:30 am Tuesday, June 4, 2024

A Hattiesburg medical cannabis dispensary and a Brookhaven medical cannabis cultivator received a default judgment for $6.3 million against Rapid Analytics of Natchez, resulting from the hold placed on the sale of medical cannabis by the state in December 2023.

Rapid Analytics, which operated in Natchez, was one of two approved medical cannabis testing facilities in the state.

Sixth Circuit District Judge Carmen Drake issued the default judgment because no one representing Rapid Analytics attended the proceedings held in Adams County on Dec. 29.

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On Dec. 21, 2023, the Mississippi State Department of Health placed an administrative hold on a large amount of medical cannabis products for them to be re-tested to make certain they met regulatory standards.

At the time, Natchez resident Mamie Henry, whose company Missla LLC is the majority owner of Rapid Analytics, 131 Jeff Davis Blvd. Suite C, received a “cease and desist” operations order from the state. She said at the time Rapid Analytics tested about 70 percent of all medical cannabis products sold in the state.

“I don’t know anything about it,” Henry responded to a message seeking comment Monday on the multi-million judgment.

Henry did not answer the question of whether she still owned Rapid Analytics. “Too much internal litigation going on to answer that,” Henry wrote in a text message.

On Feb. 22, MSDH officials said an investigation revealed significant deviations from regulatory standards and approved procedures.

“As such, MSDH has determined to revoke the establishment’s license effective March 13, 2024,” reported an MSDH news release.

The Mississippi Independent Cannabis Association issued a press release on Monday heralding the judgment.

“The judgment marks the first of its kind in the state, underscoring a pivotal victor for local businesses grappling with the repercussions of Rapid Analytics’ deviations from standard operating procedures and faulty testing practices and reporting according to the department of health,” according to the MICA press release.

“I am pleased that SADUJA was awarded damages against Rapid Analytics,” said Jason McDonald, SADUJA managing member and MICA board member. “The hold has been hard on so many in the industry and we are pleased that Rapid is being held responsible for their part in carrying most of us to the brink of disaster with their actions. Today, justice was served.”