More than two months after issuing a recall of nearly 63,000 production SKUs, the Missouri Division of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) announced on Friday, October 20, that it has released more than 14,000 of those same marijuana product SKUs from an administrative hold and recall that was initiated in August.
On August 14, DCR issued a recall for products sold, or using marijuana product sold, by infused product manufacturer Delta Extraction. While two other licenses were suspended at the time, no recall was ever issued for product related to those licenses, instead, nearly every product touched by Delta was issued a blanket hold and the subsequent recall impacted thousands of products.
The move came amid allegations that Delta was producing marijuana items containing THC sourced from cannabis grown outside the regulated Missouri market, with regulators citing a potential threat to public health and safety, despite no reported negative effects or adverse reactions. Delta has refuted that claim in court filings, contending that the processes used in manufacturing, including the addition of hemp-derived THCA to marijuana distillate, complied with Missouri rules and regulations, and that DCR employees were aware of the processes.
Delta sought relief from the recall and a temporary restraining order against DCR, arguing that the recall was too expansive and that regulators had not done their due diligence by clearly defining the scope of the recalled items.
While that request was ultimately denied by the court, citing Delta’s ongoing appeal process with the Administrative Hearing Commission and the AHC’s authority to administrate issues between marijuana regulators and licensees in the state, the sudden and turbulent process of freeing nearly a quarter of the suspended product for sale brings that point of contention to light in the eyes of many operators.
In that filing against DCR, Delta wrote, “DHSS has never identified a basis for concluding that any of Delta’s products pose an imminent threat to public health. And DHSS certainly has not explained how all of Delta’s products present such a threat. That is because no such threat exists.” The filing continues, “DHSS did not limit its Recall Notice to “particular” products that it determined constitute a potential threat. That is because DHSS has no idea what the potential threat is, or how the products might be tested to determine whether there actually is a threat. Instead, as with its administrative hold, DHSS simply issued a recall covering all of Delta’s products, regardless of whether there is any reason to believe those products constitute a threat to anyone. That is improper and not authorized by DHSS’s regulations.”
DCR stated in communications on Friday that, “After review of the marijuana product on recall, DCR has verified in the statewide track and trace system (Metrc) that some of the marijuana products on recall contain THC solely sourced from marijuana grown in the Missouri regulated market. Accordingly, DCR has removed the below referenced marijuana products from the recall list and has lifted any associated administrative hold.”
While that announcement comes as a welcome respite for Delta and other operators, DCR came under scrutiny during the process of removing products from hold last week, as well.
Between October 11 and October 13, operators around the state began to see products previously placed on hold removed in Metrc, the statewide track and trace system in Missouri. Industry criticisms begin here, as regulators began changing the status of items with no communication to licensees and no clear expectations of how to proceed. Over the coming days, many of those products would be placed back on administrative hold, but it wasn’t until a week later, Thursday, October 19, that DCR issued any statement or communication to industry operators, saying at the time, “The Department has started the process of lifting some of the current administrative holds on product. During this process, some administrative holds will be temporarily lifted and then reestablished. Once the process is complete, we will provide information regarding marijuana product that is removed from and marijuana product that remains on hold from the August 14, 2023 product recall. This notice should be issued by the end of the week. All product associated with the recall that was on administrative hold should remain quarantined until the updated lists are posted. Marijuana product not associated with the recall that has recently been removed from administrative hold may be further processed or sold to consumers.”
The following day DCR issued a more extensive communication and a revised recall list.
More information, including a revised product recall list can be found below.
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