A cannabis testing lab based in Jackson revealed on Tuesday that potentially lethal toxins have been found in over-the-counter cannabis products widely distributed across Mississippi.

The team at Steep Hill Mississippi, a cannabis testing lab, discovered that some cannabis products contain significantly higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element in marijuana, than federal law permits.

They primarily tested products containing Delta 9 THC, the most prevalent form of THC in cannabis plants, as reported by Healthline, a health and wellness publication.

The team identified that some products contained 30 to 40 times the legally permissible limit of THC. Certain products had 12-14% Delta-9 THC, stated Osbon. They also detected pesticides like bifenazate, myclobutanil, metalaxyl, malathion, chlorantraniliprole, diazinon, spinosad, and permethrins in some products.

Cliff Osbon, Steep Hill Mississippi's president and co-founder, stated that these products would not pass the Mississippi Department of Health's medical marijuana standards due to their pesticide content.

Many might wonder how it's possible to buy cannabis products without a medical marijuana card, given that recreational use is illegal in Mississippi. However, the 2018 "Farm Bill" passed by the U.S. Congress legalized industrial hemp, which contains 0.3% or less THC, insufficient to induce the "high" associated with marijuana.

Following the "Farm Bill," cannabis companies nationwide have started to sell products like weed-cigarettes, vapes, and edible gummies that purportedly contain hemp or 0.3% or less THC. These products can be purchased without a medical marijuana card and are readily found in gas stations, convenience stores, and smoke shops.

Osbon, recounting his experience on Nov. 27, mentioned buying products labeled as containing Delta 9 THC, marijuana's primary ingredient, from various gas stations and convenience stores in Rankin County.

The science team at Steep Hill Mississippi tested these products' potency and were taken aback by the results. Osbon declined to name specific brands or store locations.

Expressing concern over the situation, Kelly Williams, the founder and CEO of medical marijuana dispensary Kelly's Green, said these findings jeopardize the entire medical marijuana program by obstructing patient access to safe and effective medicine. She was also troubled by the lack of age restrictions on these products.

State representative Lee Yancey, co-author of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, plans to draft a new bill addressing the tested hemp-based products. The bill could mandate state testing or an age limit for these products, or even impose a complete ban on synthetic items. He expressed concern over the illegal activities and availability of these products to minors and vowed to take action.