Alaska cannabis grower, retailer face criminal charges in pesticide case

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Alaska officials are pressing a criminal case against two associated cannabis businesses that are accused of falsifying business records, misusing pesticides, pesticide pollution and reckless endangerment.

Ronald and Lacey Bass, owners of cultivator Calm N Collective and retailer Houston Grass Station, also have been charged, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

The alleged offenses were committed Oct. 30, 2019, according to case information available online, but only recently came to light.

Alaska’s marijuana regulator recalled products from the cultivator and the retailer in January 2020, saying they were contaminated with myclobutanil, a fungicide, and cyfluthrin, an insecticide.

Attorney Cindy Franklin, who is representing Ronald and Lacey Bass, told the Daily News that the case is the first time Alaska prosecutors have laid criminal charges against a cannabis company.

“Every business in this industry should be highly concerned that there are prosecutors sitting there looking for something to prosecute them for, because this is a reach,” she told the newspaper.

Franklin, a former director of Alaska’s marijuana regulatory agency, also told the Daily News that the pesticides were sprayed by vindictive former employees and that no reports of sickness from the pesticide-laced product have been received.