New Mexico marijuana producer’s license could be suspended after fire

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New Mexico regulators are seeking to suspend the business license of a Santa Fe-based medical marijuana producer after a fire at an extraction facility seriously injured two employees.

Two employees at one of New MexiCann Natural Medicine’s Santa Fe locations were attempting to extract cannabis with ethanol when a worker dropped the solvent onto a heater plate and caused the fire, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

The state health department is considering revoking the company’s license for violating Medical Cannabis Program rules and not using a closed-loop extraction system.

The company also allegedly failed to properly instruct workers about how to turn off or cool the heater plate when stirring the extraction material.

“By lifting an open extraction vessel containing an ethanol-based solution in the immediate vicinity of an active heater plate, New MexiCann engaged in conduct that showed a willful and reckless disregard for health and safety,” Medical Cannabis Program Director Dominick Zurlo wrote in a letter to the company.

In an email to Marijuana Business Daily, New MexiCann declined to comment, citing the ongoing legal review by the state health department.

New MexiCann was fined $13,500 in 2016 by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for committing a dozen violations uncovered during the agency’s eight-month investigation into a hash-oil explosion that seriously burned two employees.