MN Board of Pharmacy sues 3 edible cannabinoid retailers, claims products violate state law

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy has filed a lawsuit against three cannabinoid retailers and manufacturers, alleging that some of their edibles violate state law.

The board has filed a civil lawsuit against Northland Vapor Company Moorhead LLC, Northland Vapor Company Bemidji, LLC, and Wonky Confections, LLC (formerly “Northland Vapor”) alleging violation of Minnesota’s edible cannabinoids laws.

Under the law, an edible cannabinoid product sold in Minnesota must not contain more than 5 milligrams of any hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a single serving or more than a total of 50 milligrams per package.

The lawsuit filed Monday claims the three listed companies have been selling products with far more THC than allowed.

Court documents state that, last month, board and Food and Drug Administration officials visited the companies’ manufacturing warehouse in Moorhead and found thousands of packages of edibles, which matched products sold on the companies’ websites, that contained as much as 100 milligrams per serving and 2,500 milligrams per package, the lawsuit states, which is 50 times the amount allowed.

Additionally, the lawsuit says the companies are breaking the law by making THC products that are shaped like gummy bears. The law doesn’t allow edibles to “contain cartoon-like characteristics of a real or fictional person, animal or fruit that appeals to children” and can’t be “modeled after a brand of products primarily consumed by or marketed to children.”

Finally, the documents claim that the board requested product testing results from the companies at the end of October and again last month and still hasn’t heard back, which violates state law. The testing is required not only to determine the products don’t have too much THC, but also to confirm they don’t have “more than trace amounts of any mold, residual solvents, pesticides, fertilizers, or heavy metals.”

The lawsuit is asking the court to force the companies to destroy the products that violate state law and stop them from selling any products that violate the law in the future.

The board says it estimates the total value of the products that violate state law tops $7 million.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Jill Phillips, the executive director of the board, said the lack of regulation for THC is an issue.

She also said the board supported having a separate cannabis regulation office before the THC law was approved this past summer and still supports that.

According to Phillips, the legalization of THC products has left the board inundated with complaints. She noted that the board has gotten 46 complaints related to edibles since the start of August, and the board typically investigates and resolves 120 complaints per year. Plus, it still has all of its other pharmaceutical licensees to continue monitoring.

The FDA inspection is ongoing.

For more information about the lawsuit, CLICK HERE.

Watch the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy press conference from our sister station, KSTP below.