MJBizMag February 2021 - 11

What words of advice would you offer to
marijuana businesses that might get a Prop 65
violation notice?
It's best not to ignore a 60-day warning letter. The recipient
should engage legal counsel to reach out to the filing
attorney and the office of the attorney general or local
prosecutor in connection with next steps. The recipient
should also reach out to others in the supply chain to
ascertain liability and work together on a resolution, if
possible.
Unfortunately, because there are no established safe
levels of exposure to marijuana smoke and delta-9-THC,
and cannabis products are not considered foods, the
other statutory defenses (e.g., that the exposure is low or
naturally occurring) do not provide immunity from the fine
for cannabis and hemp companies under Prop 65.
On June 5, 2020, the attorney general published a letter
to private-sector enforcers who had filed 60-day notices in
2020 that urged private enforcers to agree to extensions
of time prior to filing any legal action, but (the letter did not
require an extension), so you should assume you are still
under the 60 days unless you hear otherwise.
How do violations usually happen? Are we talking
about secret shoppers?
That's exactly it. Like (Americans with Disabilities Act)
violations, these lawsuits are instituted by civilians who
were injured by a company's failure to comply with a publicsafety
requirement. People need to be injured in order to
make a claim, so they go out and look for violations that
could injure them.
Prop 65 suits used to be based upon signage at the
retailer's location. But following the 2016 revisions, which
became effective in 2018, that liability primarily fell to the
manufacturer.
Because that liability can be shifted, however, the civilian
enforcer will likely notice everyone in the supply chain.
Employees should be advised to not answer questions
about Prop 65.
John Schroyer is a reporter for Marijuana
Business Magazine and MJBizDaily. You can
reach him at john.schroyer@mjbizdaily.com.
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MJBizMag February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMag February 2021

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