Possible plastic contaminants in cannabis products sold by Ohio cultivator Galenas LLC to thirty-eight Ohio dispensaries triggered a mandatory recall Monday from the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP). This is the second big Midwest recall in four weeks, shortly after the Michigan Regulatory Agency’s Nov. 17 recall on products tested at Viridis Laboratories.

The Ohio recall impacts 38 of the state’s 58 dispensaries currently in operation.

“The Medical Marijuana Control Program is committed to ensuring patient safety and maintains strict product safety and testing requirements. The plant material subject to this recall passed all previously required testing, indicating any possible contamination likely occurred during packaging or after the product was packaged. Upon receiving information of possible contamination, MMCP investigated and issued a mandatory recall. At this time, there have been no reports of adverse reactions to this product, a statement from the MMCP read.

The plastic is described as thin plastic flakes, the kind of plastic used in zip lock bags and not plastic shards, Jennifer Jarell, deputy chief communications officer with the MMCP clarified.

The recall impacts a pair of Galenas products, Blueberry Cookies Flower and Blueberry Cookies Shake strains used as extracts for vaping with purchase dates between October 14 to December 7, according to Jarrell.

Galenas founder and CEO, Geof Korf did not respond to requests for comment from Grown In by publication.

The MMCP instructs patients who purchased the recalled product to stop using it. Unused product should be returned to the dispensary it was purchased. Returned products will not count toward a patient’s 90-days possession limit, according to the bulletin.

Simon Dunkle, communications director for NORML Appalachia, Ohio and a medical marijuana patient, says he’s personally experienced bad vaping products.

“The problem is it’s supposed to be about the patients, and I don’t think it is as much as it should be,” Dunkle said.

He added that last year, he researched what it would take to set up a patient contact source with NORML so that when something like a recall happens, patients can get the information they need to navigate through the agency for answers they need. The idea never got off the ground due to liability issues, he said.

“It’s not easy for the average person,” Dunkle said. “Trying to do the bureaucratic tango with the state, it’s bad,” Dunkle said. “

The MMCP instructs anyone experiencing serious, or life-threatening issues to seek immediate medical attention. Adverse reactions should be reported to the MMCP by calling the toll-free helpline at (833) 464-6627.

The MMCP’s recall follows the Michigan Regulatory Agency’s Nov. 17 recall on products tested at Viridis Laboratories.

Last week, Viridis Labs sought a removal of that recall, but Michigan Chief Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray affirmed the recall for one Viridis lab, while lifting the recall on a second Viridis lab in Bay City.

The MMCP will issue an executive summary at the conclusion of the investigation, according to the bulletin. 

Three state government agencies are responsible for the operation of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program. The Ohio Department of Commerce oversees the medical marijuana cultivators, processors and testing laboratories. The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy oversees the medical marijuana retail dispensaries, the registration of medical marijuana patients and caregivers, the approval of new forms of medical marijuana and coordinating the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.

The State Medical Board of Ohio is responsible for certifying physicians to recommend medical marijuana and may add to the list of qualifying conditions for which medical marijuana can be recommended.

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Deborah Bayliss

Award-winning journalist with a career that started on Chicago’s South Side providing general news coverage. In addition to Illinois, coverage regions include Georgia and Louisiana where I provided city...