Complaints of illicit cannabis finding its way into the regulated market has caught the ear of Michigan’s new top cannabis executive.

Brian Hanna, who was appointed the acting executive director of the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) on Sept. 15, said during a roundtable interview Oct. 25 in Lansing that changes are coming before the end of the year to beef up oversight tracking measures and expose bad actors, The Detroit News reported.

Proper tagging and registering of products in Metrc, Michigan’s statewide seed-to-sale tracking system, and proper maintenance of required surveillance cameras are among the issues CRA officials plan to focus on during the coming months, the news outlet reported.

“If there’s anybody cutting corners or cheating, we want to expose that and take a strong enforcement approach on that,” Hanna told media members during the roundtable.

Hanna, who spent five years with the CRA as the manager of field operations, inspections and investigations, outlined the agency’s ongoing oversight efforts on the heels of disciplinary action earlier this month against a Detroit medical operator for having unmarked bags of cannabis product without tracking numbers.

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When CRA officials inspected The House of Mary Jane, one of the state’s medical marijuana provisioning centers, during an unannounced visit last year, they “observed multiple bags, backpacks and duffle bags of marijuana products that did not have the tracking identification numbers assigned by the statewide monitoring system (Metrc) attached,” according to a complaint released Oct. 10 by the agency.

According to the CRA complaint, the retail operator then, allegedly, improperly destroyed the product and failed to provide video surveillance footage for the past 30 days, which is required by the state’s administrative rules. CRA officials issued the licensee a 30-day suspension and a $75,000 fine.

“There appears to be a consistent pattern of camera issues at businesses,” Hanna said during Tuesday’s roundtable with the press. “And they’re required in the rules to have those and provide us the footage when we ask for those and required to have 30 days of camera footage.”

CRA’s budget increased $2 million this fiscal year, to $26.1 million overall, which the agency plans to utilize, in part, by hiring six new regulatory agents, two inspectors, two analysts and a laboratory specialist, with increased unannounced inspections to come, Detroit News reported. With those new hires, the agency will have roughly 180 employees.


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