One of Alaska’s biggest makers of edible cannabis products has been stripped of its license in an unprecedented move by state regulators.
Fairbanks’ Frozen Budz was one of the first legal cannabis businesses to open in the state. After having its manufacturer’s license revoked Friday, Frozen Budz now holds another important distinction.
“The marijuana board, they’ve had some disciplinary actions for various types of violations, but they’ve never considered a license revocation before and they have never revoked a license,” Erika McConnell, director of the state Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, said.
Along with a $500,000 fine, the Marijuana Control Board ordered the seizure of all of Frozen Budz products around the state.
Frozen Budz is known for supplying popular edible products to retail shops, items with names like Cannabanana Bread, Toker Chai Tea and Dankchip Cookies. The company has a separate retail license for a shop in Fairbanks, which is not affected by the board’s revocation decision.
State officials had issued a suspension earlier this month at Frozen Budz manufacturing facility for a range of alleged violations. Those included selling thousands of untested edibles, some of which contained mold and others that state investigators found to contain two or three times the legal limit of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis.
McConnell said Frozen Budz is also alleged to have allowed on-site consumption at its premises and delivered products directly to consumers, both of which are illegal.
And McConnell said there was another problem: Frozen Budz failed to keep track of the origin of marijuana used in making thousands of edibles.
In an effort to prevent Black Market pot from making it into the legal market, regulations require precise tracking of marijuana products from seed to sale. That’s not what was happening for thousands of edibles at Frozen Budz, McConnell said.
“It was like those edibles appeared out of thin air,” McConnell said. “Now it’s possible that that’s just a mistake in the tracking system, but if you were doing a good job with your inventory management, you would’ve found this mistake and then you would’ve been able to go back and correct it.”
In an interview this week with the Associated Press about the initial license suspension, a Frozen Budz owner blamed the discrepancies on computer software problems. Frozen Budz did not respond to a request after the license revocation Friday for further comment.