OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A medical marijuana lab has been shut down by the Oklahoma City Fire Marshal for not having the proper permits and violating fire code.
“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.
Tewes said those are crucial tests because soils used to grow the plant can contain metals.
“If you’re consuming heavy metals, it’s detrimental to your brain. I feel that the heavy metals test is probably one of the most important,” he said.
The same day Tewes called KFOR, he brought his concerns to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.
The OMMA confirmed they are investigating.
On Friday, officials with the OKCFD said they received a call from OMMA about the Nationwide complaint.
“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.
On top of that, he said the lab was operating without the proper permits.
“There’s a reason that there are guidelines in place as to how you need to store hazardous materials,” he said. “Those could cause a hazard. Those could cause an explosion.”
For now, operations have been suspended.
Tewes said he’s witnessed similar violations at other labs he’s worked for, which he also reported to the OMMA.
“They are getting on top of this and I can guarantee you that,” he said.
Nationwide Engineering and Testing issued the the following statement to KFOR:
“Nationwide Engineering and Testing, LLC, categorically denies the unsubstantiated allegations made to the media and state authorities over the past week by Mr. Nathan A. Tewes.
Nationwide Engineering and Testing, LLC, has a valid license to be a laboratory from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. The license number is LAAA-V1F9-PSJ4. That number and contact information is available at https://oklahoma.gov/omma/businesses/list-of-licensed-businesses/licensed-laboratories.html. As of today, the company has not received any official notification that the license holder is losing its license, but the company will cooperate fully with the OMMA and other authorities if there is an investigation. No one from the OMMA had been quoted in the media about any investigation.
On Dec. 11, a representative of the Oklahoma City’s fire marshal’s office conducted an inspection of the premises at 4133 Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City. A list of requirements were given, with a promise that the property would be reinspected at noon on Dec. 14. Changes were made, based upon the results of that earlier inspection. No one showed until right before 5 p.m. that day, when the representative posted an order on the door to close.
The company is investigating all of its legal options at this point, but it calls upon reporters and editors at media outlets to speak with company officials and verify facts before broadcasting stories with spurious and vindictive allegations by Mr. Tewes. Their contact information was a part of the public record posted on the OMMA Web site.
Nationwide Engineering and Testing, LLC, will cooperate with authorities and speak with media on the record to clarify this situation.”NATIONWIDE ENGINEERING AND TESTING, LLC
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