The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency, or the Michigan CRA, has suspended the license of a marijuana processor accused of using illicit cannabis to manufacture its products in February of this year. The CRA said that the processor’s marijuana flower known as Space Rocks, which is coated with cannabis concentrates to increase potency, was manufactured with an illicit isolate that had not been tested for purity and safety and had not been entered in METRC.
METRC, or Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting and Compliance, is the seed-to-sale cannabis tracking system used to monitor the movement of licensed cannabis throughout the state. It is a cloud-based software system that is mandated by the government in order to ensure the safety and quality compliance of legal marijuana products.
The products in question were marketed under the Fwaygo Extracts brand name and manufactured by TAS Asset Holdings, LLC, between November 10, 2022, and November 17, 2022, and were not produced in compliance with state statutes and administrative regulations. These products may be unsafe, and anyone experiencing adverse effects should report their symptoms and product use to their healthcare providers immediately.
Originally, the vape cartridge samples provided by TAS tested negative for the banned chemical insecticide, bifenthrin. Later samples, however, tested positive for the insecticide, sparking an investigation into the company by the CRA. A review of surveillance footage recorded at the TAS facility showed that the cannabis product used to make the vape cartridges was not the same product recorded in METRC that had passed the initial compliance testing. The product used to make the vape cartridges had not been properly processed, licensed, or even tested as part of the regulated market, or entered into METRC properly.
Several health and safety violations at warehouse, including leaking containers, unclean and unsanitary conditions, unlabeled substance containers, and an entire unapproved and unlisted warehouse being used for production. In the unlicensed warehouse, the CRA found a number of untagged marijuana products, including flowers, distillates, concentrates, and THC powders that were likely used in contaminated products.
In all, there were a total of 23 formal complaints filed against Fwaygo Extracts by the CRA. Currently, the company’s license is suspended pending a hearing to determine if the suspension will remain in effect for the foreseeable future, and Fwaygo Extracts is able to contest the claim, if they choose to do so.
As the cannabis industry continues to grow and more processors and producers enter the market, many states are ramping up their safety protocols and increasing compliance standards to ensure the public’s safety. Many states are beginning to perform unannounced inspections throughout the year, and pressing charges against any company that harbors unlicensed or unsanitary facilities or products.