Maryland dispensary fined $26k for selling dumpster cannabis

Maryland cannabis company Curio Wellness was fined $26,000 by state regulators for reselling marijuana products some of its employees retrieved from a dumpster just weeks after adult-use sales began in the state.

An inventory manager identified as A.J. at Curio’s Far & Dotter dispensary, on the north side of Baltimore, alerted the Maryland Cannabis Administration last year to the episode, The Baltimore Banner reported.

According to an order from the MCA, the agency investigated and found that 224 grams – roughly half a pound – of cannabis product was thrown into a dumpster behind the dispensary on July 25, after the recreational market kickstarted on July 1.

Then on July 27, a trio of employees from the shop dug the goods out of the dumpster and took them back inside the store, where the manager on duty insisted on repackaging the marijuana and selling it, The Banner reported.

Curio disputed the characterization of the manager insisting on selling the cannabis in question, The Banner reported. Nevertheless, the dumpster cannabis – which needed repackaging because the original packaging was covered in some kind of “liquid” from the trash – was sold for $3,174.50.

The inventory manager who blew the whistle, A.J., said he had advised against selling the cannabis, since doing so would be in violation of state rules, according to a consent order from the MCA. A.J.’s employment at the shop was ended on Aug. 20 last summer following the episode, and he informed the MCA of the incident four days later.

The MCA fined Curio $26,000 over the sale, and also ordered the company to submit various records for ongoing monthly review to regulators, including its green waste logs, and also to retrain staff on waste procedures.

In a statement to The Banner, Curio said that despite the incident, the shop did not sell tainted cannabis.

“The aforementioned product was inside sealed jars, within sealed boxes, and it is undisputed that no outside material ever breached the jars or touched the product,” the company said.

“Immediate action and appropriate steps have been taken to address the situation, including an internal investigation and additional employee training, so that this type of incident does not recur,” Curio said in the statement. “Non-adherence to safety and compliance procedures is not taken lightly nor tolerated.”

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