Sacramento-based Sequoia Analytical Labs has surrendered its license to California state regulators after it was revealed that the lab’s now-former director was falsifying pesticide testing results, FOX 40 reports.
The incident is expected to signal the state’s largest cannabis product recall, yet.
According to an email and social media update from Sequoia, the company voluntarily surrendered its license to the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) and will cooperate with regulators in hopes of having its licensed returned by January 1, when a new host of testing requirements will take effect.
“During a BCC inspection on Tuesday, November 27, it was discovered that pesticide testing here at Sequoia Analytical Labs was not in compliance with BCC regulations. 22 of the required 66 pesticides, primarily, Category 2 pesticides, were not being correctly tested due to a faulty instrument. It was further discovered that the Lab Director knew about this and was secretly falsifying the results … from July 1 to November 27.” — Excerpt of official Sequoia Analytical Labs statement
The responsible director was promptly fired and replaced and the lab says it has already started working to fix the faulty instrument and revamp company procedures. “Management and ownership were horrified to learn about this severe breach of a very important safety regulation,” the company statement reads.
Sequoia’s general manager Steven Dutra told MJBizDaily that the BCC, “is not demanding that product be pulled in and destroyed;” rather, regulators want to see the affected products recalled and retested. It is not yet clear if the products will need to be completely retested or just retested for pesticides.
According to Dutra, there were some 700-800 batches of cannabis products affected by the faulty instrument and unscrupulous lab director, making this the largest product recall the California industry has ever faced.
In its official statement, Sequoia urged its clients to contact the BCC if they believe they may have received affected products and have not yet heard from the regulatory agency.
“We are very sorry for the inconveniences this incident will cause our clients,” the statement reads. “We have always made client and patient safety our top priority and we will be taking aggressive steps to insure that such incidents never happen again at Sequoia.”