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California Cannabis Regulators Place Product Embargo on Prerolls, Vape Pens


The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) put an embargo on three product batches in the state’s regulated market that it suspects were potentially adulterated.

The department sent a letter Nov. 9 warning cannabis program licensees that the continued sale of these products would violate the Medicinal and Adult-Use Regulation and Safety Act (MAURSA), state law governing the industry, as first reported by SFGATE and confirmed by Cannabis Business Times with DCC Media Relations Manager David Hafner.

The products batches include:

  • Any and all “SHARK BITE – PACIFIC CHEMISTRY” Pre-Rolls from METRC Batch No. 1A406030000465D000001314;
  • Any and all “WEST COAST CURE – BISCOTTI” Disposable Vape Pens from METRC Batch No. 1A4060300009222000010348;
  • Any and all “CRU CANNABIS – MAI TAI” Disposable Vape Pens from METRC Batch No. 1A40603000020EC000009978.

“These items may not be removed or disposed of by sale or otherwise until permission for removal or disposal is given by the department or a court,” DCC officials wrote in the letter obtained by CBT. “The department is diligently conducting its investigation and will provide you with further information as it becomes available.”

According to two specific subsections under the California Business and Professions Code (BPC) listed by the DCC in the letter, department officials suspect the embargoed product batches could:

  1. Bear or contain a poisonous or deleterious substance that may render them injurious to users under the conditions of use suggested in the labeling or under conditions that are customary or usual; or
  2. Bear or contain a substance that is restricted or limited, and the level of substance in the product(s) exceeds the limits specified pursuant to state regulation.

In addition to testing chemical profiles for cannabinoids to ensure product compounds are labeled properly, California state law requires cannabis and cannabis products to be tested by a licensed laboratory prior to sale to ensure contaminants like molds, residual solvents and pesticides are within acceptable limits, according to DCC.

In addition, cannabis is tested for foreign material, including, but not limited to, hair, insects, or similar or related adulterant.

The DCC was required under the California BCP to establish standardized testing methods at the onset of 2023 for the industry.

“The ultimate goal is protecting public health and safety by providing consumers accurate and consistent information on the cannabis they purchase,” DCC Director Nicole Elliott said prior to implementing the standardized test methods.

With products from the three embargoed batches having already been on dispensary shelves in California, the DCC could determine if a recall is necessary as part of its investigation, Hafner told SFGATE.

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