South Dakota's Department of Health (DOH) is getting sued by a medical cannabis company for alleged overreach, improper issuance of violations and trying to enforce un-promulgated rules, reported KELOLAND News.
605 Cannabis is seeking damages of over $1 million concerning a January 2023 DOH inspection of the company’s facility, where it runs manufacturing and cultivation operations.
In a 49-page document, 650 Cannabis claims that investigators improperly inspected the facility during a blizzard, which resulted in the business being partially shut down at the time and operating with limited staff.
“On January 19, 2023, the region where the 605 Facilities (manufacturing and cultivation) are located was covered in snow due to a blizzard, and the 605 Facilities were consequently not fully operational, not open during its normal business hours, and key staff members were not present,” stipulates the complaint filed on March 23.
Following the inspection during which authorities took cannabis samples, the DOH reported 19 alleged violations, with nine serious ones subsequently highlighted in an emergency order issued in February.
The issue that led to the disagreement was the presence of Delta-8 and terpenes in cannabis sold by the company, which the DOH said was added to medical cannabis products.
To that accusation, 605 replied that Delta-8 was naturally occurring and that it was not added. The company said it provided proof of testing for terpenes, all derived naturally and approved by the FDA.
“605 has requested the Department provide statutory or administrative authority for the prohibited use of Delta-8 and terpenes in medical cannabis, but has received no response,” the document stated.
The company also noted that the DOH failed to interpret medical cannabis laws adequately, demonstrating a lack of understanding regarding the plant.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a chemical component of the cannabis plant. Although it occurs naturally in minimal concentrations, it can produce mild psychoactive effects in some people, similar to Delta-9 THC (the compound that gets you high).
New industrial methodologies enable the controversial Delta-8 THC to be converted from CBD derived from hemp. Products developed as a result of the 2018 federal Farm Bill, which legalized hemp are not subject to the exact testing requirements as cannabis, thus creating a legal loophole.
Photo: Courtesy of succo, mrkukuruznik5 by Pixabay
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