California cannabis product recalls are on the rise

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.


Image of a glittering blue stamp with the words product recall

(Image by Argus/stock.adobe.com)

California regulators are initiating more cannabis product recalls and health warnings to consumers.

In the past month alone, the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC), the state’s chief marijuana regulator, has issued six product recalls and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a consumer warning regarding certain hemp-infused beverages.

So far this year, regulators have issued at least 23 cannabis product recalls, easily surpassing the three recalls issued in both 2023 and 2022.

“These recalls are the result of increased inspections and product testing,” DCC spokesperson Moorea Warren said.

MJBizDaily reported in April that several of the recalls this year have been prompted by the presence of aspergillus, a fungus that can grow on cannabis plants.

Newsweek reported in May on similar developments.

Flower recall

Then, on Monday, the DCC issued a mandatory recall of flower products from BloomBox Flower and Pat’s Flower sold on or after Oct. 9, 2023.

The recalled products are:

  • LA Pop Rocks x Purple Push Pop, 1 gram.
  • LA Pop Rocks x Purple Push Pop, 14 grams.

According to the recall notice, the products were packaged by Paet Real Estate, which does business as Stella Farms, a cultivator based in North Hollywood, according to its website.

The products were sold at a Dr. Greenthumb dispensary near Los Angeles International Airport.

Stella Farms did not respond to MJBizDaily inquiries for comment.

Health warning on infused sodas

Last week, the health department warned consumers not to drink Mary Jones hemp-infused sodas because they are “mislabeled and contain specific ingredients prohibited under state law.”

Specifically, the products contained prohibited hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) isolate, an intoxicating ingredient that could pose a risk to consumers, according to the DCC.

Industrial hemp products are legal in California but banned under state law from containing THC isolates.

Regulators confirmed that several soda stock-keeping units (SKUs) violated state law by containing hemp-derived delta-9 THC isolate.

The beverages, according to health officials, were manufactured in Michigan and distributed to retailers across California as well as consumers through direct online purchases.

The 12-ounce cans under recall include:

  • Mary Jones Orange & Cream Hemp-infused Soda, with 5 milligrams and 10 milligrams of delta-9 THC.
  • Mary Jones Berry Lemonade Hemp-infused Soda, with 5 milligrams and 10 milligrams of delta-9 THC.
  • Mary Jones Green Apple Hemp-infused Soda, with 5 and milligrams and 10 milligrams of delta-9 THC.

“All these products are included in the state’s warning and should not be consumed,” the recall notice stated.

The CDPH said it is working with other state agencies to find, test and remove those products from shelves.

The agency also said it is partnering with local health departments to educate the public about the products and provide appropriate steps if they’ve been consumed or encountered.

2024 MJBiz Factbook – now available!  

Exclusive industry data and analysis to help you make informed business decisions and avoid costly missteps. All the facts, none of the hype. 

Featured inside: 

  • Financial forecasts + capital investment trends 
  • 200+ pages and 49 charts highlighting key data figures and sales trends 
  • State-by-state guide to regulations, taxes & market opportunities
  • Monthly and quarterly updates, with new data & insights
  • And more!

More enforcement actions loom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom in April directed the CDPH and the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to issue notices addressing the sale and distribution of illegal hemp products.

Seattle-based Jones Soda Co. has yet to issue a voluntary recall of its intoxicating hemp products.

The CDPH issued a violation notice to the company’s California distributor in May.

The distributor and retailers are subject to additional enforcement actions, including civil or criminal penalties, if they continue to sell the recalled products.

Jones Soda did not respond to MJBizDaily requests for comment.

In a May news release announcing Jones Soda’s first-quarter earnings, CEO and President David Knight highlighted the company’s delta-9 THC-infused drinks as the cannabis beverage brand continues its geographic and product expansion.

“Our newly launched hemp (based) delta-9 products have been met with incredible reception from the broader consumer base, and we believe this product line will be a core growth driver going forward,” he said.

In the first quarter of 2024, Jones Soda reported a 29% increase in year-over-year revenue to $5 million and a net loss of $1.2 million, compared with a $1.4 million loss a year earlier.

Chris Casacchia can be reached at chris.casacchia@mjbizdaily.com.