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Missouri marijuana growers under investigation have products selling in St. Louis

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 5:34 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 11:33 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV/CBS) - A secret state investigation into two medical marijuana growers in Missouri is causing dozens of products to be pulled from store shelves in the St. Louis area.

The state confirmed to News 4 they’re investigating but otherwise, they’re being very tightlipped on whether or not patients should be worried about tainted products.

“We would like to get up as soon as possible, but speed is not the main factor, it’s doing it right the first time and making sure we stay compliant and doing it right from a growing standpoint,” John Frank said about a north St. Louis facility said to be a major marijuana growing operation.

Medical marijuana is still fairly new to Missouri and “it’s a tricky business,” Frank said. “Most of us are new to the game.”

The state is providing a complex set of rules regarding safety and security: products are tracked from seed to sale and laboratory testing for things like mold or heavy metals are mandated.

“We do have processes to track the temperature, the humidity, the CO2 levels, all that is important to growing good product,” Frank said.

That’s why Frank says he’s not too surprised to learn of this secret state investigation.

“They do keep an eye on what you are doing; inspections, access to your cameras. It’s highly regulated. We knew that going in,” Frank said. “That’s why we take the extra precautions to make sure we aren’t violating.”

News 4 has confirmed the state is conducting an ongoing investigation for two of its approximately 60 licensees for cultivation, or growing of medical marijuana.

The two under the microscope are Archimedes Medical Holdings and FUJM LLC. Both are operating in Perryville, Missouri.

We asked the state from more information and this is all we got: “We do not comment on ongoing investigations.”

So we don’t know the nature of the investigations but a number of dispensaries in our area confirmed to us they’ve had to put a freeze on the products from those growers.

“We know how much it means to so many people who have been waiting and fighting for this for years,” Erin Moore with Archimedes said.

Archimedes opened with accolades last year as a female-owned business and one of the first cultivators in Missouri. It was also one of the few outdoor growing operations to get up and running.

In October last year, the state did confirm an investigation into a complaint of mold in their products, sold at two St. Louis area dispensaries. Patients at the time were informed of the bad batch numbers. Which doesn’t appear to have happened this go around, according to dispensaries..

“We are doing everything we can to avoid that,” Frank said. “Once you’re open, you don’t want any interruptions in your sales, so you have be extra vigilant after you have product in your facility.”

One dispensary told News 4 they believe the problem is with paperwork and that patients are not at risk. We reached out to the officials for the two growers in question but we didn’t hear back.

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