State suspends Tacoma marijuana grower’s license

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The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issued an emergency suspension  of the marijuana producer license for Refined Cannabinoids in Tacoma. The suspension is effective  until Jan. 9. During that time, the WSLCB will seek permanent revocation of the license. This is the first time an emergency suspension has been served on a marijuana licensee.

Acting on a complaint, WSLCB Enforcement conducted a premise check at the licensed location and observed numerous and substantial violations including full rooms of untagged plants, clones and finished product. Traceability tags allow officers to track marijuana throughout the system. They also assist in monitoring for things like tax compliance, diversion and product recalls.

During the course of the inspection, officers discovered and seized 2,569 marijuana plants, 1,216 marijuana plant clones, 375.8 pounds of frozen marijuana flower stored in 11 freezer chests, 3,423 0.5 gram marijuana cigarettes, and 97.5 pounds of bulk marijuana flower without the requisite traceability identifiers. In addition to the untracked product, officers also uncovered evidence that the licensee had been diverting product from the licensed business.

Due to the severity of these violations and the high risk of diversion should the business remain open the Board issued the emergency suspension. Officers seized all remaining product at the location. Seized wet marijuana material, including plants, clones, trimmings, and flower will be destroyed. All shelf-stable, non-perishable marijuana material, product and derivatives seized will be held pending revocation of license, after which it will also be destroyed.

“Traceability is a core component of Washington’s system and essential for licensee compliance,” said Justin Nordhorn, WSLCB Chief of Enforcement. “If our licensees fail to track their product they put their license in jeopardy.”

Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the WSLCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable and legal in every way. The WSLCB issued one emergency suspension in 2017 and two in 2018.

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