Cannabis Control Division Faces Lawsuit Over Unlawful Product Recall on 4-Year Anniversary of Legal Marijuana Sales in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Cannabis Control Division in New Mexico is facing a new lawsuit as the state marks four years of legal recreational marijuana sales. Instead of celebration, a local cannabis manufacturer has taken legal action against the division over a recent product recall. The manufacturer claims that the recall was “unlawful” and that the state did not follow its own rules in issuing the recall.

According to Jacob Candelaria, attorney for Pharmers LLC, the recalled products were manufactured by his clients in the fall of 2022 and passed all required tests mandated by the state. However, a third-party cannabis retailer submitted one of the products for a voluntary shelf life test, which revealed the presence of a pesticide called Malathion. Candelaria argues that Malathion is not listed as a prohibited pesticide by the state, and the Cannabis Control Division has not issued any rules or regulations regarding its testing.

Furthermore, Candelaria contends that the state cannot issue recalls based on voluntary tests conducted by labs. He argues that his clients were not given due process or anti-contamination procedures during the tests conducted in March of 2024. As a result, the lawsuit is seeking a judge’s intervention to stop the recall and for the Cannabis Control Division to issue a retraction.

In response to the lawsuit, the Cannabis Control Division declined to comment on ongoing litigations but reiterated their commitment to public health and safety. They explained that the recall was issued to alert the public about cannabis products that potentially contained harmful contaminants.

When asked if the issues surrounding the recall were due to the relatively new status of the Cannabis Control Division, Candelaria dismissed it as an excuse. He emphasized that a state agency must adhere to its own rules.

The legal action taken by the local cannabis manufacturer raises questions about the proper procedures and rules regarding product recalls in the state’s cannabis industry. This lawsuit highlights the need for clarity and consistency in ensuring consumer safety in the growing legal recreational marijuana market in New Mexico. The outcome of this case will likely have ramifications for the regulations and practices surrounding cannabis testing and recalls in the state.