Maryland Dispensary Fined $26,000 for Improperly Handling Cannabis

Far & Dotter, a Maryland-based dispensary operated by Curio Wellness, has been fined $26,000 for mishandling cannabis that ended up in a dumpster.

A consent order from the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA), disclosed by The Baltimore Banner, revealed that 64 units of cannabis, weighing 224 grams, were discarded outside Curio Wellness’ Far & Dotter dispensary in Timonium, Maryland, in July 2023. Although the order confirms the cannabis was initially delivered in sealed jars labeled as Amnesia OG flower, it doesn’t specify the reason for its disposal.

The discarded products remained in the dumpster for over 41 hours, during which three employees were captured on video retrieving them. Subsequent footage showed one employee repackaging the products, citing concerns about the original packaging being contaminated with a liquid substance.

Curio Wellness has refuted claims of contamination, stating that the cannabis remained untouched by external substances as it was sealed within jars and boxes. However, the incident was brought to the attention of the MCA by an inventory manager identified as “A.J.” who recommended the cannabis be destroyed but was overruled by management, driven by profit motives. A.J. was subsequently terminated.

The decision to sell the retrieved cannabis was reportedly made independently by a Far & Dotter general manager. Between July 28 and August 3, the repackaged cannabis was sold to a total of 42 customers, generating revenue of $3,174.50. Despite this, the MCA confirmed no adverse incidents related to the product.

In response to the violation, Curio Wellness pledged to conduct an internal investigation and reaffirmed its commitment to compliance and safety. Alongside the $26,000 fine, the dispensary must submit green waste logs and scale calibration records to the MCA monthly for the next six months. Additionally, all employees will undergo retraining on proper green waste disposal procedures.

Green waste disposal, as defined by the MCA, encompasses various scenarios such as contaminated, damaged, or expired products, among others. Businesses are required to document the destruction process in detail, including the method used.

Maryland’s recreational cannabis sales commenced in July 2023, witnessing significant growth since then. SunMed Growers, a prominent cannabis farm in the state, noted a substantial increase in sales, enabling them to provide raises to their staff.

Meanwhile, Maryland law enforcement faces challenges related to cannabis legalization. Police Chief Marchus Jones and Montgomery County Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Earl Stoddard criticized regulations barring recruits who have consumed cannabis within the past three years. The Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission has agreed to review the rule but hasn’t provided a timeline for potential changes.


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