Curaleaf Forced To Remove Thousands Of Medical Marijuana Products From NY Dispensaries, Here's What Happened

Curaleaf CURLF has pulled tens of thousands of units of cannabis from dispensary shelves all over New York after the company switched to an unauthorized method of labeling potency that led patients to believe that what they’d bought was much stronger than usual.

How Did This Happen?

Curaleaf began displaying “dry weight” measurements on its products in July without having gotten approval from NY’s Office of Cannabis Management and without telling its customers, according to Normally all New York products show “wet weight” measurement. Dry weight measuring shows significantly higher THC percentages, making the weed more attractive to buyers who want more for their money and a stronger high.

For example, the same product could show a THC percentage of 20% using wet weight measurement – but as high as 37% using dry weight testing. 

“The higher the potency of the flower, the more sales of that item we see,” said Geoff Brown, a pharmacist at MedMen in Buffalo. The switch resulted in “a remarkable increase in sales” of Curaleaf’s product at his shop, though his dispensary staff was fielding a lot of questions over the higher potency.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Cunha, a Curaleaf spokesperson, told NY Cannabis Insider that dry weight “is considered the most accurate metric for THC content on any type of cannabis sample,” adding that neighboring states like Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland require dry weight testing and that NY will likely be soon to follow.

Why then didn’t Curaleaf seek approval first is a question Cunha didn’t answer though Cunha did apologize. “Curaleaf holds our products to high standards, and we are deeply sorry to our patient community for any confusion this change in methodology has caused,” she wrote in a note to NY Insider.

Bob Miller, COO of ACT Laboratories said that from a testing lab perspective, dry weight allows more accurate product-to-product or lab-to-lab comparisons.  

“The downside of the approach is that it is misleading to the patients…so it does inflate potency,” Miller said.

A Matter Of Transparency, Especially For MMJ Patients

“It’s important to have accurate information because some of us are using medical cannabis after getting no results from the medical system/pharmaceuticals and/or feeling misled by promised but undelivered results," Miller said.

“To now have to question whether or not our dispensaries are knowingly misleading us would feel like yet another setback.” 

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