Cannabis Product Recalls 101 and The Top Way to Avoid Compliance Issues

It’s no surprise that as US cannabis production increases so do the number of product recalls. We all know – recalls can cause major loss in profits and sales for cannabis business owners and operators alike. The rise in recalled cannabis product news has cannabis production and industry managers asking more, and more – how can we avoid compliance issues with sales, and amongst our cannabis facility operations?

We’ll answer those questions and more with our guide on the latest 2021 cannabis product recalls, and cannabusiness plans to have in place to stay compliant.


This Year’s Most Notable Cannabis Product Recalls

Cannabis news that set off new concerns amongst industry leaders involves a number of recalls across the country. Including the most recent cannabis production recall in Michigan of 10,000 marijuana-infused chocolate edibles. The affected product, ‘Covert Cups’ were pulled from the shelves due to the fact that the cannabis facility that produces them failed to undergo a proper inspection. 

Earlier in the year, in Arizona, over 8 different products from varying brands were voluntarily recalled over an issue with product testing, and the possibility of contamination. OnPoint Laboratories who’s now taken full responsibility for the recall provided certificate of analysis for products testing as clean. But, a routine inspection by laboratory auditors proved otherwise. As it was found that the samples actually tested positive for Salmonella and Aspergillus – two forms of mold. 

A similar issue with cannabis testing labs occurred in Oregon in January of 2021, where the state regulatory agency put a hold on marijuana products that mistakenly passed testing. Ecotest, an Oregon cannabis testing facility, had provided certificates that the products had passed a pesticide test. Specifically for the analyte Abamectin. Despite the fact that in March 2020, the batch had failed initial testing with a subcontracted laboratory.


Staying in Compliance for Cannabis Production

In addition to the examples above, there are a variety of other reasons why a cannabis product can be recalled by state’s regulatory agencies. Including – 

  • The discovery of use of an unapproved, banned, or unsafe pesticide or substance used in production. Use of an unapproved/banned pesticide
  • The presence of mold, or fungi in products. 
  • A product item becoming unsafe, i.e. an unsafe vaporizer coil, oil cartridge, etc. 
  • Reports of adverse effects or illness occurring from consumption of product.

It’s also important to note that recall regulations vary from state to state. In fact, some state law’s don’t even require recalls for certain reasons like if a customer submits a complaint, or negative testing occurs. Although, as a best practice and to protect the health and safety of the consumer it’s always best to recall a product when an issue does arise, even if it may hurt your bottom line. Not to mention, product liability issues or lawsuits down the road, too. 

Tips to Crafting a Winning Cannabis Product Recall Plan

On that same note – some states require a cannabis product recall plan, while others do not. Regardless, every cannabusiness plan should have product recall information in their SOP’s. So if an issue comes up your cannabis facility is ready to handle it with ease, and effectively. If you’re in grow operations, a processor, or a dispensary owner, here are some of the most important factors to include in your cannabis product recall plan – 


  • Designate a point person for quality assurance purposes, and a team leader for potential recall situations. 
  • Layout procedural steps to take in regards to receiving a failing test, and determining cross-contamination that could have occurred. 
  • Determining product quantities and batches, when and where they were distributed. 
  • Outlines a system to track purchases, and how to get in touch with specific customers. Plus, any incentives, refunds or discounts that will be given in the case of a recall. 
  • Setting a timeline for reporting issues to appropriate regulation agencies. In addition to notifying related vendors.
  • How, when and who will be responsible for discarding affected products. 
  • How, when and who will be responsible for public relations and communication. 
  • Outlines how to manage and address any recall repercussions, financially. 

Automating Operations for Optimized Success


One thing you can learn from a rise in product recalls is getting a better grasp on your internal manufacturing, and distributing processes. Hence, why many cannabis business owners are now crafting their own comprehensive cannabis product recall plans in the case of any future issues. Furthermore, if you’re not using dispensary tools or cannabis facility softwares to keep you in tune with the pulse of compliance matters – it’s time to start. 

Robust, yet simple to use platforms like ProCanna can help automate operations to optimize overall success. ProCanna specifically is designed for industry by industry leaders, who have experienced the frustration of remaining in regulation themselves. Intuitive, easy, smart and yours – you can customize the mobile-based software to meet the needs of your SOP’s. Including, multi-state or multi-location operations. 

So, schedule your demo with ProCanna today to get ahead of cannabis product recall issues. And, to have the peace of mind, that you’re on track to success when it comes to regulatory guidelines in your specific state or states.