California issues recalls for 29 marijuana firms caught in Sequoia Labs fallout

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) this week identified 29 separate companies that have been told to recall marijuana products after Sacramento-based Sequoia Analytical Labs’ said its former lab director falsified pesticide test results.

The BCC also released a list of 848 product batches that were tested by Sequoia after June 30 and may be subject to the recall.

The list of affected products are wide-ranging – including flower, pre-rolls, hash and various extracts – and could potentially affect up to 60 marijuana cultivators and product makers that had sent their products to Sequoia, many via distributors.

The companies that may be the hardest hit:

  • BSeen Distribution, which had 208 product batches tested by Sequoia.
  • Connected Management, another distributor that had 200 product batches tested by Sequoia.

Both companies are based in Sacramento.

Lauren Fraser at the Cannabis Distribution Association said that with so many product batches in question, the value of all of those goods could be in the ten-figure range, given that a single batch of flower can be up to 50 pounds.

“Easily tens of millions of dollars. Could be more,” Fraser said when asked to estimate the value of 848 product batches.

But what isn’t clear is how many of those products are being recalled and perhaps retested and then sent back to market, said Alex Traverso, spokesman for the BCC.

“It’s really tough to determine if the distributors that were impacted were able to get product back, and if they did get it back, what portion was retested or potentially destroyed,” Traverso said, noting that MJ lab certificates of analysis are confidential.

BSeen Distribution CEO Tom Fortunato said that all of the affected vendors that his company works with have been notified of the recall and have also already been approved by the BCC to get their products retested by other labs.

Now, he said, it’s a decision for those vendors as to whether they want to pay for additional testing to get those products back to retailers.

“We work with a lot of vendors here, both big box and artisan type. And this has been pretty painful for some of our smaller vendors,” Fortunato said, adding that the recall process is still ongoing.

6 comments on “California issues recalls for 29 marijuana firms caught in Sequoia Labs fallout
  1. Tom C on

    Stop using pesticides on cannabis and you won’t have this problem. It’s unhealthy and wrong. It’s also a waste of money and just dumb.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth on

      Most cultivators that are still in the legal market don’t use pesticides. It’s not the cultivators problem that the lab was cheating the results. It’s the black market that makes it easy to cheat. The black market needs to go away and the pesticides will disappear. The black market is surging because the taxes are so high and no one wants to pay $60-80 for 3.5 grams. It used to cost $45-60. Taxes need to come down and the best and clean material needs to be affordable so the consumer wants to buy it from a licensed store. The cultivators (1800lb.) have $148 cultivators tax plus testing $75 plus packaging $300 plus excise tax , which is 60% of whole cost x 15%.= 1800+(523)+(.60=1393.8)=($3716.8 Retail Cost)15%=557.52 ($4,274.32 Consumer price is $10/gram before mark up).
      With retail gross receipts tax and 280 tax, the store needs to mark up double to have anything left. Thats a $70 eighth ( 3.5grams). Way to much. $40-60 is where it needs to be to the consumer. THATS the problem.

      Reply
      • Pat on

        The much larger problem is how the industry is being legislated and then regulated. That’s the core issue. The outcome has been huge artificial barriers to entry. Why? The original cartels wanted to keep the original “black market” prices where they were, because people were paying for it. The legislature and regulators jumped on the bandwagon with “this and that costs us this much b.s.” until the regulated price equaled the old black market price. The price per oz should have come waayy down. But, the playing field was skewed by the legislators at the behest of the old cartels. No one that didn’t have the huge historically illegal capital that these cartels had amassed over the years could compete under that premise. The state knew this ( as well as the feds ) and they didn’t care. It has been the little guy that’s been suffering under this scheme.

        All of these agencies that wanted “in” on this racket did so just to make money, and not because they cared so much about public/environmental safety; or reasonable accessibility. They don’t. Why? There is absolutely no evidence that backs up the vast majority of these so called regs. The fees are just as arbitrary. Just to keep the prices inflated at the old black market levels. The taxes are just the cream on the top. So, instead of making the product more accessible at a much cheaper price, you’ve got this.

        Elizabeth, you’re wrong. $40-60 1/8th is your “wish” price point. But, I think most unscrupulous business people would agree w/you. Has nothing to do with good governance or a free hand market economy. These two most important variables were left out of the equation. The black market is only going to accelerate from here because of this corruption/hypocrisy.

        Reply
  2. Glenn W Norton Jr on

    Premium meds in Sacramento is not testing any of their product. They are also claiming that four different types of weed are really one type. The drippers have turned to trash. They run their drivers in the ground 12 hours a day. Not letting any of them have any days off for vacation time. & all the upper echelon members are Russian. And don’t associate with their workers

    Reply
  3. Kevai Floyd on

    I caught the owner of the Lab doing bogus tests in 2011-12. He even admitted it on my voice mail which I promptly let the other Lab owners listen to. They have NO BUSINESS being a Lab. They have ALWAYS been shady and that comes down DIRECTLY from their Owner!!

    Reply

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