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New Mexico cannabis manufacturer files lawsuit against Cannabis Control Division

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Today marks two years of legal recreational marijuana sales in New Mexico. Instead of a celebration, the Cannabis Control Division is now facing a new lawsuit.

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A local cannabis manufacturer is suing the state agency over a recent recall of some of its products.  

The manufacturer’s attorney is calling the recent recall “unlawful.”  He says the state didn’t follow its own rules when issuing the recall a little more than two weeks ago.

“The products that are being recalled were manufactured by my clients in the fall of 2022. At that time, these products passed every single applicable pesticide and other tests mandated by the state of New Mexico. Fast-forward almost a year later, a third party cannabis retailer submitted one of the products to a testing laboratory for a voluntary ‘quote unquote ‘shelf life test.’ That test identified the presence of a pesticide called Malathion,” said Jacob Candelaria, attorney for Pharmers LLC. 

Malathion is not listed as one of the state’s prohibited pesticides.

“At no time since 2022, and even sitting here today, has the Cannabis Control Division issued a rule or regulation that’s been subjected to notice and comment about adding Malathion on to the list of pesticides that must be tested for, so that’s issue number one,” Candelaria said. 

But malathion isn’t on the list of state approved pesticides either. The state’s rules around cannabis testing allows labs to test for other pesticides and report those findings to the Cannabis Control Division.

But Candelaria argues the state isn’t allowed to issue recalls based on those voluntary tests. 

“My clients were not afforded the sort of due process protections, or anti-contamination procedures in these voluntary tests that were conducted in March of 2024,” said Cadelaria. 

The lawsuit is now asking a judge to stop the recall and for the CCD to publish a retraction.

KOB 4 also reached out to the CCD. A rep said they couldn’t comment on ongoing litigations.

However, they did send a statement saying:

“One of the division’s top priorities is protecting public health and safety and the March 22, 2024 notice was issued to notify the public about cannabis products that contained potentially harmful contaminants.”

We asked Candelaria if he believes the issues surrounding the recall are due to the CCD being a relatively new entity in our state. 

He said that’s not an excuse, and a state agency should follow its own rules


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