Pesticides are Reason for Huge Cannabis Edibles Recall

marijuana product recall

Future cannabis product recalls imminent, so plan now

In late December 2015, the Colorado cannabis product industry took a big hit in a voluntary product recall by a well-known edibles company. Banned pesticides were found in some of the nearly 100,000 packages of cannabis-infused edibles that were recalled. We pretty much predicted this in a previous post.

This latest cannabis recall is the largest in the nation’s history and the 15th in Denver in nearly as many weeks. Colorado is the center of the nation’s cannabis industry. Recalls of this sort are expected to continue until alternatives can be found the chemicals being used, according to Chris Brown, CEO of NeutraCorp., a company that develops and markets natural wellness solutions, including cannabis-related products.

Future recalls

So, if the marijuana industry itself is aware that recalls are imminent, it’s best that companies within the industry have a recall plan in place. And don’t be mistaken: cannabis growers, retailers, and distributers are not safe from product liability lawsuits just because the federal government categorizes it as an illegal substance.

Steps to protect your business

Licensed marijuana product businesses in most states that have commercial marijuana laws are required to have a recall plan in place. If your state doesn’t provide basic marijuana recall standards, visit the FDA website for recall guidance.

Below are the minimum steps that should be included in your recall plan:

  1. Set up a recall committee of experienced employees who can investigate and evaluate product complaints.
  2. Develop a complaint form and evaluation method for efficiently processing investigations and determining their validity. No complaint should be ignored.
  3. Make distribution list to easily identify affected products and lots. The list should include contact names of all affected consumers and vendors and the dates they were purchased or consumed by them. List any side effects, injuries, or illnesses resulting from product use.
  4. Set up a recovery system for all tainted products to be quarantined from sale and distribution.
  5. Distribute a carefully worded recall notice alerting consumers and vendors. It’s important to communicate which product(s) are affected and what they should do. However, it’s just as important to minimize any liability the problems may create for their company.
  6. Alert your attorney, insurance broker and other business advisors of th recall as soon as possible. Offering a press release should be decided on a case-by-case basis. We advise consulting an attorney who can a) determine if a press release will affect public relations positively, and b) help you word the press release.
  7. List your options for dealing with the tainted products: should they be destroyed, repaired, repurposed?
  8. Document every step you take and all communications with your vendors, consumers and business advisors.

Of course, a solid product liability policy is critical as part of your recall plan. Contact us today for more information or for quote.

  • “Colorado Weathers Largest Cannabis Recall Yet Due to Pesticide Fears,”, 12 Jan. 2016.
  • Hiary Bricken. “Marijuana Product Recall Plans: Get Yours in Place Now,”, 08 Jan. 2016.
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