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Judge Sides with Cannabis Manufacturer, Halts Product Recall

The company's attorney called the recall "unlawful."

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A New Mexico judge has sided with cannabis manufacturer Pharmers and ordered a temporary halt to a product recall issued last month by the state’s Cannabis Control Division (CCD).

The CCD in March issued a recall for contaminated cannabis concentrates (shatter, dabs, wax, etc.) that tested positive for a prohibited pesticide. The recall impacted a cannabis retailer in Albuquerque and Pharmers, which was instructed to destroy all remaining involved concentrates without selling to any additional retailer.

READ: New Mexico Recalls Cannabis Concentrates with Prohibited Pesticides

But according to a new lawsuit, the pesticide in question, malathion, is not on the state's prohibited list. Earlier this week Pharmers challenged the recall ruling in a new lawsuit, with the company’s attorney calling the action “unlawful.”

“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 ‘shelf life test.’ That test identified the presence of a pesticide called Malathion," Attorney Jacob Candelaria told KOB4. “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.”

Pharmers has asked for a retraction from the CCD and an end to the recall. For now, the recall is on hold. The judge in the case has set a hearing for next week to give the CCD a chance to defend its decision.