LDAF department testing medical marijuana is ‘irreconcilable conflict of interest’

Certified Cannabis has filed suit against the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry over its failure to award a bid for testing medical marijuana. In the suit, we are asking for the LDAF to follow its bid proposal and award the bid to the lowest responsible bidder. We are confident that will be Certified Cannabis.

The LDAF submitted a request for proposal to test medical marijuana in the state of Louisiana in September of 2018. Certified Cannabis, along with two other companies, submitted bids by the October 25, 2018 deadline. Then, on December 11, the LDAF sent a letter to the bidders telling them it was rescinding the request for bids. Unknown to the bidders, the LDAF had begun undertaking its own testing in the meantime, but without the expertise, the equipment, or the personnel. As a result, the testing taken longer than expected, to the frustration of all interested parties. The LDAF has claimed it would re-submit the request for proposal, but they have failed to do so.

The laws of Louisiana do not allow an agency like the LDAF to withdraw a request for proposals without reason. Certified Cannabis has asked, repeatedly, for the LDAF’s just cause determination, but there has been no explanation. At other times, the LDAF has claimed it disqualified the bids instead, but it has neither explained why, nor has it complied with Louisiana law to disqualify bids. Certified Cannabis’s bid met or exceeded every requirement the LDAF established.

Certified Cannabis’s suit asks the Court to require the LDAF to play by the rules they set out and award the bid to Certified Cannabis. The LDAF cannot send out a request for proposals from independent testing labs they evidently did not intend to follow in the first place. Instead, the LDAF seems intent to purchase millions in equipment for its own use, despite lacking experienced technicians, at great cost to the state of Louisiana and its taxpayers. This risks both depriving the citizens of Louisiana safe, prompt access to medical marijuana, and it risks the intervention of the federal government, if public health becomes jeopardized. Allowing an expert lab, with actual MDs, PhDs and Chemical Engineers that have patient and laboratory analytical testing experience, to test medical marijuana will give the citizens of Louisiana confidence that the work is being performed promptly and correctly.

Please direct factual inquiries to Certified Cannabis by email: info@certifiedcannabis.bio

Please direct legal inquiries to Harry Morse by email: harry@bohmanmorse.com

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