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Avalanche of Medical Marijuana Notices May be Partially Invalid

Avalanche of Medical Marijuana Notices May be Partially Invalid

Author: Jack Schatz/Monday, July 10, 2017/Categories: California Legislation, Prop65, Litigation

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One of the strangest trends in Proposition 65 enforcement this year turns out to not be a trend at all, instead it is the work of a single new citizen enforcer who served a total of 675 60-day notices of violation in early May, on medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the State of California.

Michael Murphy, who in most of the notices is identified as a manager of Clean Cannabis Initiative, LLC, has alleged that certain medical marijuana products may contain one or more of three Proposition 65 listed chemicals at levels that trigger violations of the statute.

Murphy alleges that both edible products and those meant to be smoked may contain Myclobutanil, carbaryl, and Malathion in levels that may violate Proposition 65.

Myclobutanil is a reproductive toxicant, added to the list of chemicals known to cause reproductive and/or developmental harm in 1999. Carbaryl, which was listed as a carcinogen in 2010 is a more recent addition to the Proposition 65 list.  Malathion is the most recent addition to the list having been listed as a carcinogen last year on May 20, 2016.  Because Murphy’s notices were served between May 5 and May 12 of this year, the notices alleging exposure to malathion would be void, as the warning requirement for violations pertaining to malathion took effect on May 20, 2017.  


Another plaintiff group, The Center for Advanced Public Awareness (CAPA), has issued a total of 45 notices of violation to medical cannabis dispensaries so far this year, however, the CAPA notices allege exposures to marijuana smoke only. Marijuana smoke was added to the Proposition 65 list as a carcinogen in 2009.

Murphy’s notices come at a pivotal time for dispensaries as state agencies are in the process of developing regulations that would implement the California Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA).  Draft regulations would include rules that would set safe residual levels of pesticides in both edible and dried cannabis products.


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Jack Schatz

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