New Mexico Cannabis Company Loses License Following Extraction-Related Fire

New Mexico’s health department has revoked the license of cannabis company New MexiCann Natural Medicine after an accident last year left two employees seriously injured.

Full story after the jump.

The New Mexico Department of Health has revoked the license of New MexiCann Natural Medicine following an accident at their facility last year that seriously injured two workers, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports. Health Secretary Tracie Collins also suspended the manufacturer’s ability to produce cannabis.

In February, New Mexicann owner Carlos Gonzalez was charged with two felony counts of arson related to the incident, the report says. Gonzalez is accused of switching out a hot plate used in the extraction process with one that violates manufacturing standards, according to a criminal complaint outlined by the New Mexican.

Following an investigation, it was discovered that a mixture of ethanol and cannabis oil had spilled onto the hot plate which led to the fire. It was the second incident at the facility to cause injuries over five years. Officials also suggested that New Mexicann didn’t train staff on how to properly use the equipment. The Health Department had previously suspended the company’s license in relation to the fire.

Josh Alderete, one of the victims in the fire, in the criminal complaint against his former boss, said he was asked to take over the extraction process due to an absent co-worker and said he warned Gonzales about changing the hot plates, according to a New Mexican report. He  indicated the that plate was set at 500 degrees, the highest setting and against manufacturing standards for the extraction process.

“Did we not learn from the last explosion?” Alderete asked Gonzalez, according to the complaint outlined by the New Mexicann, referring to the previous accident. “We cannot be skipping steps, this causes accidents.”

“If it weighs, it pays,” Gonzalez allegedly responded, according to the report.

The suspension order for the company’s medical cannabis production takes effect May 14.

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