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  • Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault

    The Metro Times is looking to hear your experiences will sexual assault on a Michigan college campus — from anything to how many sexual assault prevention programs, rape kits or crisis centers you may have had access to, to how the administration or local law enforcement handled your experience. If you, or anyone you know might be interested in talking to a reporter at the Metro Times, please email us at

    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Get ready for National Tequila Day!

    Thursday, July 24th marks National Tequila Day, and forget everything you know about the beverage. Those nasty old “tequilas” of yesterday were find for doing body shots, but tequila has become something of a luxury spirit while few were paying attention. Have you tried all the varieties of tequila? Can you tell the difference between blanco, joven, reposed, añejo and extra añejo?  If your local bar doesn’t have the stuff that will help you celebrate this important holiday, there are several bars that cater just to the tequila fan. There’s Aqua Rum and Tequila Bar in the MGM Grand Detroit Casino in Detroit, as well as Rojo Mexican Bistro in Novi, which offers more than 100 kinds of tequila, and Taqo Detroit, a new spot serving American-friendly Mexican fare and serving an astonishing variety of tequilas, more than 200 in all. Been waiting for a reason to drink up this south-of-the-border nectar? You got it. Guzzle responsibly.    

    The post Get ready for National Tequila Day! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs

    In light of worldwide attention on its efforts to cut water service for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department said today it would host a Water Affordability Fair on August 2nd to explain options available to those facing financial hardship. DWSD officials said in a news release today the fair will be take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department’s Eastside Customer Service Center at 13303 E. McNichols. The move came on the heels of growing pressure from opponents of the initiative and criticism from the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. “Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated,” said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director, in a statement. “In cases where the water has been shut off, it’s been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for the to receive that help. That’s why we created the Water Affordability Fair – ease of access and ease of assistance. We are here to […]

    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Higher Ground

Why medical marijuana testing is big business in Michigan

Putting pot to the test.

Photo: Illustration by Lee DeVito., License: N/A

Illustration by Lee DeVito.

The managers at Iron Laboratories LLC seemed a bit anxious when I visited their facility on Maple Road in Walled Lake. They’re wary of how they’re portrayed in the media.

“We wouldn’t have done this one year ago,” says CEO Robert Teitel. “Now it’s time.”

That wariness comes from the fact that their business is testing medical marijuana. Marijuana is, shall we say, a testy business in Michigan right now. Since the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) was passed in 2008, marijuana businesses have often been on shaky ground due to continuing attitudes against them. The legislation has been interpreted unevenly by various local governments and law enforcement agencies. There are places, such as Washtenaw County, that have taken a gentler attitude toward what will be tolerated, and other places, such as Oakland County, that have taken a tougher stance. 

Iron Laboratories is located in Oakland County, so the founding partners, Teitel and CFO Howard Lutz, are understandably trying to toe the line and do things in a manner that won’t cause trouble. They seem very concerned that things are done correctly when it comes to medical marijuana. As one faction of medical marijuana advocates says, if it’s going to be medical, let’s make it medical. That means marijuana free of pesticides, fungi, and other contaminants. It also means knowing the levels of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD in any product, and being consistent with those levels. 

That’s where Iron Labs fits in. They’re concerned with the credibility of the industry and seem to have built a wall between themselves and anything to do with promoting recreational use. 

“We want to fill in the gaps between what is known and what is myth,” says Lutz. “Since Sanjay Gupta said that CBD is helping people, it has exploded. Parents of sick children are calling, saying they got something that’s supposed to have CBD and they want to verify that it’s actually what they’ve been told.”

That’s one of the reasons that “it’s time” for them to be more public. There are people peddling what they call high-CBD, non-psychotropic hemp, but in a sometimes-underground industry, nobody knows for sure what they might be getting. And some people are making claims that just aren’t true.

“Some parents of sick children have expectations that aren’t going to ever be met,” Teitel says.

Iron Labs has been in business three years under fluctuating legal conditions as various legal rulings redefine the playing field. Not that they’ve been hiding. They depend on the public in order to do business, with some 600 clients, including individuals, caretakers, compassion clubs, and other places that supply medical marijuana to patients. It’s a membership organization with a $175 lifetime membership fee. That fee includes two sample tests; further tests have a lower additional charge. The membership model is what most organizations doing business with medical marijuana in Michigan follow.

Iron Labs makes no claim about the efficacy of medical marijuana — “We’re not doctors,” says Lutz — but they want to deliver accurate results to caregivers and patients seeking information about what they have. They test buds, edibles, liquids, infused products, pretty much every method people use to deliver an effective dose of medication. It takes up to a gram of material to get an accurate test.

It can be very important when it comes to edibles and infused products. There have been cases in Michigan in which patients were charged with possession of more than the legal amount of marijuana because the total weight of their brownies, cookies, etc., exceeded the limit. Law enforcement has even claimed that they can’t tell how much plant material or THC is in it. 

“Of course we can,” Lutz says. Iron Labs can indeed test and provide documentation of those levels.

Marijuana, of course, does have medical uses. Even in Colorado, where recreational use became legal on Jan. 1, the sale of medical marijuana has so far outpaced that of recreational, and “marijuana refugees” have moved to the state in order to have access to it. 

Nationally, medical marijuana is big business, and the guys at Iron Labs have even considered adding locations in other states.

They’re businessmen, although the five folks who do the actual analysis of materials are chemists and biologists. Each of them is also a legal caretaker or patient. Teitel and Lutz, who have been friends since childhood, speak in terms of being employers and stopping the brain drain of young educated people from the state. They say they get résumés from new college grads all the time. 

The science and technical staff does have a just-out-of-college look — they’re young, a couple of them sporting dreadlocks and tats as they quietly go about their liquid and gas chromatography or other analysis on expensive lab equipment.

Nobody here is taking a big draw on a blunt and declaring it “good shit.” And this business has no interest in cultivation or distribution of the product. Even the name of the company was chosen to avoid interpretation of any kind of stoner image. The name “Iron” is to imply that you get ironclad results.

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