What's Unfolding With the Recall of Marijuana Products in Missouri?
In the world of legal marijuana, maintaining product safety and compliance is paramount. Recently, Missouri's cannabis industry faced a significant challenge in the form of a massive recall involving over 60,000 product SKUs. This blog post will delve into the events surrounding this recall, examine the guidance issued by the Division of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) in Missouri, and discuss the importance of medical marijuana as a safe and reliable choice for patients.
Understanding the Recall
The recall of tens of thousands of marijuana product SKUs raised several questions and concerns within the Missouri cannabis community. One of the primary issues addressed by DCR in their guidance document was the discrepancy between marijuana products recorded in the Metrc system as passing all required testing and the potential health risks they might still pose.
The document highlights the critical role that compliance plays in the effectiveness of testing and tracking regulations. In regulated industries like cannabis, testing results are only as reliable as the compliance with sampling and tracking requirements. Intentional falsification of Metrc records or non-compliance with sample requirements can lead to unreliable test results, posing potential health risks to consumers.
Furthermore, the guidance document points out that unregulated cannabis, which may find its way into regulated products, can introduce health risks not detected by the required testing regime. Unregulated cannabis may be grown or processed using methods and treatments that differ from those in a regulated setting. For example, chemical conversions of CBD to produce THC can result in products containing harmful residual solvents and other compounds.
The guidance emphasizes that Missouri's cannabis testing regulations are among the most stringent in the nation. However, the efficacy of these regulations depends on adherence to sampling and tracking requirements by all stakeholders.
Combatting Regulatory Evasion
To address concerns regarding regulatory evasion or manipulation, DCR is committed to investigating any evidence of tracking and testing evasion. Such behavior is considered a severe violation, and DCR pledges to take all necessary steps to ensure appropriate consequences and protect public health.
Licensees, too, are encouraged to take measures to safeguard themselves against purchasing non-compliant products from unscrupulous actors. These measures include developing best practices for product evaluation, such as questioning unusually low prices or excessive availability of supply and requesting evidence of product source. Licensees may also consider establishing contractual arrangements for product return or refund in case of non-compliance.
Impact on Missouri's Cannabis Industry
The massive recall had a notable impact on Missouri's cannabis industry. In August, total cannabis sales in the state dropped more than 3%, reaching $119 million for the month. This decline marked the lowest monthly sales total since the first month of recreational marijuana sales in March. The guidance from DCR aims to address the controversy surrounding the recall process and its repercussions on the industry.
DCR is currently engaged in legal proceedings with Delta Extractions, the company identified as the producer of the distillate used in the recalled products. The Administrative Hearing Commission is set to hear both parties on September 29. Delta maintains that its actions align with the original language of rules governing medical marijuana and standard operating procedures accepted by the Division.
Streamlining the Item Approval Process
In addition to addressing the recall, DCR recently released new guidance on the Item Approval process for Missouri marijuana operators. This process is designed to enhance transparency and consumer confidence by providing comprehensive product information through the statewide track and trace system, Metrc.
To assist licensees in navigating this process, DCR has provided a comprehensive checklist outlining the required documentation for a complete Item Approval submission. Licensees are encouraged to utilize this checklist to ensure all Item Approval requirements are met.
The Role of Photos in Item Approval
Photos play a crucial role in the Item Approval process. Licensees are required to upload specific photos and documents to Metrc and Box.com. These photos should adhere to specific guidelines:
Product Photo: A clear image of the entire final marijuana product on a solid neutral background should be submitted. If a product contains multiple servings or doses of the same flavor or strain, a photo of a single serving or dose should suffice.
Label Photo: A single PDF file of the label information, including all required information in the proper order, must be provided.
Packaging Photo: A clear image of the entire final marijuana packaging, including all printed content, display panels, and wrappers, on a solid neutral background is required.
Photos should not include embedded brand or product logos, and they should avoid featuring raw ingredients, marijuana leaves, or additional branding imagery.
DCR also addressed reported issues related to the functionality of Metrc, the statewide track and trace system. The guidance reassures licensees that problems with Metrc functionality have been resolved, and there are currently no functionality issues within the system.
Amidst the challenges faced by the cannabis industry in Missouri, it's crucial to underscore the continued importance of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana programs provide a safe and reliable option for patients seeking therapeutic relief. Patients can rely on the rigorous testing and regulation of medical marijuana products to ensure their safety and efficacy.
A Path Forward for Missouri's Cannabis Industry
The recall of marijuana products in Missouri has brought critical issues surrounding compliance, testing, and safety to the forefront. The guidance issued by DCR aims to address these concerns and strengthen the industry's commitment to consumer safety.
As legal battles continue and the cannabis industry evolves, it's essential for consumers and licensees alike to remain vigilant. Ensuring the safety and compliance of cannabis products is a collective responsibility that ultimately benefits patients and consumers.
While the industry navigates these challenges, medical marijuana continues to serve as a trusted choice for patients. Patients seeking relief can rely on the robust testing and regulation standards of medical marijuana programs.
Missouri's cannabis industry is at a crossroads, striving to overcome recent challenges and build a safer, more compliant future. As the industry progresses, consumers and patients should stay informed, exercise caution, and consider the advantages of medical marijuana as a reliable and safe option for their needs.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri Today!
Although marijuana is now legal recreationally in Missouri, you should still get your medical card. If you have any questions, just give us a call!
There are so many benefits to having your medical marijuana card in a recreational state, including being responsible for less in taxes, saving at dispensaries, and higher possession laws.
If you don’t already have your medical marijuana card, we can help! Our doctors are standing by to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. During your evaluation, they will be happy to answer all your questions about how cannabis may be able to help with your anxiety or any other medical conditions.
Schedule an appointment with a marijuana professional online or by giving us a call at
(877) 303-3117 to talk to a patient support representative.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting the relief you can trust today!
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