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Missouri marijuana companies can now work with state to destroy recalled cannabis products

Rebecca Rivas
The Missouri Independent

Missouri regulators have agreed to delay revoking the license of the company at the center of the recall as a hearing over the matter is pushed to December.

Companies around Missouri have been required to store nearly 63,000 recalled cannabis products since early August.

But if they want to destroy that product, they can now consult with state cannabis regulators about how to do it, after a Sept. 29 hearing on the recall was postponed until at least December.

Licensed cannabis businesses may not take action on the recalled product without permission for the state, said Lisa Cox, spokeswoman for the agency that oversees the state’s cannabis program, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, in an email to The Independent Thursday.

“If a licensee wishes to voluntarily destroy product on hold, they should contact the department to discuss,” Cox said.

However, it’s possible, she said, the case surrounding the recall could be resolved by Oct. 20.

Robertsonville-based marijuana manufacturer Delta Extraction has asked the Administrative Hearing Commission to rescind the company’s license suspension and rollback the recall.

The company’s attorney, Chuck Hatfield, said he also “hopes and believes” the matter can be resolved by Oct. 20 or sooner.

“We’re providing all the records that they’re asking for,” Hatfield said. “We’re making folks available to them for interviews, and we have been doing that since the first day that this was raised. Delta Extraction is an open book.”

Attorneys for the state and Delta Extraction agreed in a Sept. 25 joint motion that the hearing will not be rescheduled prior to Nov. 30. A commissioner with the Administrative Hearing Commission granted the motion the next day.

The state also agreed not to order any cannabis licensee to destroy the recalled products, which potentially contain a THC concentrate that’s under investigation. If licensees choose to destroy it voluntarily, Cox said, “it would be destroyed according to the requirements for destruction/waste in applicable regulations.”

On Aug. 2, the state regulating agency suspended Delta Extraction’s operations after accusing the company of sourcing untested “marijuana or converted hemp from outside of a Missouri licensed cultivation facility.”

The state issued an administrative hold on the products days after and then a full product recall on Aug. 14.

Delta has denied accusations that it illegally imported marijuana into the state by arguing it actually imported a non-psychoactive hemp product that was converted into THC once in Missouri.

The commissioner overseeing Delta’s appeal of the recall and license suspension said the company will likely lose that argument, because it’s illegal in Missouri to add “hemp-derived chemically modified ‘converted’ cannabinoids” to marijuana products.

Last month, the department asked the commission to delay the hearing that was scheduled for Sept. 29. Delta opposed the motion, and a commissioner denied it.

However in the Sept. 25 joint motion, the department agreed to hold off on its attempt to revoke Delta’s license until Oct. 20 — and Delta agreed to pushing back the hearing date.

The department issued a notice of pending revocation on Sept. 1, and Delta would’ve had until Oct. 2 to prove its case against the accusations. However, Delta’s attorneys argued in an email that there was no need to expedite the revocation process because the company’s operations have already been suspended.

The two parties agreed that the revocation process will be completed by Oct. 20. And if the parties cannot reach an agreement, then a hearing would be set after Nov. 30.

This story was originally published by the Missouri Independent, part of the States Newsroom.

Copyright 2023 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Rebecca Rivas covers civil rights, criminal justice and immigration for the Missouri Independent. She has been reporting in Missouri since 2001, most recently as senior reporter and video producer at the St. Louis American, the nation's leading African-American newspaper.
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