This week, the Minnesota Pharmaceutical Board filed a civil lawsuit, alleging that a cannabis retailer sold edible products with THC concentrations that were more than 50 times the state’s permitted limit. The business conglomerate Northland Vapor, which sells marijuana products under the brand names “Death by Gummy Bears” and “Wonky Weeds,” was specifically charged with breaking Minnesota’s laws on edible cannabinoids.
The company’s “Death by Gummy Bears” edibles are the subject of complaints being looked into by the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including one that claims at least one person passed away after ingesting the products, according to the pharmaceutical board. The FDA does not yet know whether the “Death by Gummy Bears” edibles are to blame for the adverse reactions that customers have reported, but the agency does state on its website that products containing delta-8 THC, such as these gummies, “have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use in any context.”
Beginning in November, the pharmaceutical board and FDA conducted a raid on a manufacturing facility in Moorhead, a city in western Minnesota close to the border with North Dakota, where they allegedly discovered close to 150,000 packages of THC products with drug contents that were significantly more potent than what was permitted by state law.
The products included around 28,896 packages of “Death by Gummy Bears” edibles with 100 milligrams of THC per serving and 2,500 milligrams overall; 112,710 packages of “Death by Gummy Bears” edibles with 100 milligrams of THC per serving and 1,000 milligrams overall; and 2,400 packages of “Wonky Weeds” edibles with 30 milligrams of THC per serving and 300 milligrams overall,
According to the Minnesota Pharmaceutical Board, Northland Vapor allegedly refused to provide investigators with the outcomes of required testing procedures that check cannabis products for toxic substances like pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents.
Erpelding responded to a text message from CBS Minnesota by referencing a statement from his lawyer that claimed the businesses made an effort to cooperate with the state to ensure compliance with the new law. Attorney Tyler Leverington called the lawsuit a “aggressive tactic” intended to “smear” their reputation.
“There is no proof that using Northland products correctly causes any harm. The state’s attempts to imply otherwise are repugnant “In part, Leverington said. Northland, a small company dedicated to producing high-quality goods, is currently fighting for its survival against overzealous regulators in St. Paul who want to draw attention to their recently passed law.
Manufacturers are limited in how much THC they can use in their cannabis products by Minnesota law. The maximum amount of THC that can be found in any edible cannabis product sold in the state is 5 mg per serving or 50 mg per package. Northland Vapor is also accused of marketing and selling products that “resemble characteristics of a fictional bear, as well as products that are modeled after gummy bear candies that are primarily consumed or marketed to children,” in violation of state laws that forbid the sale of cannabis products that “resemble cartoon-like characteristics of a real or fictional person, animal, or fruit that appeals to children.”
Consumers should be aware of the amount of THC in each serving as they shop, according to Jill Phillips, executive director of the Minnesota pharmaceutical board. “According to state law, only goods with five milligrams or less per serving and fifty milligrams or less per package may be sold. These businesses far exceeded those restrictions and did so with a product class that was traditionally marketed to kids.”
The Minnesota Pharmaceutical Board is suing Northland Vapor in civil court, asking the judge to issue an order “condemning and destroying of adulterated edible cannabinoid products” and directing the business to produce and market goods that adhere to state THC laws. The board is advising people to avoid products sold under the company’s “Death by Gummy Bears” and “Wonky Weeds” brands and said anyone who experiences adverse health symptoms after consuming these products should call their local poison control center immediately.