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DHSS investigating medical marijuana consumer complaint 

Days after Missouri’s first legal medical marijuana sales, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is investigating a complaint from a patient claiming to have found mold growth in a product purchased from a dispensary. 

DHSS said it notified all facilities, patients, and caregivers associated with the production batch and advised them not to use the product until the investigation is completed.

“The track-and-trace system is greatly aiding our team in this investigation and allowing us to quickly identify and notify all who may be impacted by this particular batch,” DHSS Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation Director Lyndall Fraker said in a statement. “A well-regulated program allows for this type of quick action so that we can protect patients.”

N’Bliss, the operator of two dispensaries in St. Louis, confirmed the product was sold from one of its facilities over the weekend in a statement released Tuesday.

“As part of our mission to provide patients with safe, secure, and reliable access to medical marijuana, we are committed to being proactive and transparent in our response to any patient concerns,” the statement read. “We are actively working with the DHSS on this issue and are awaiting additional lab testing on this previously approved product.”

The company said the product was pulled from its inventory after the complaint was issued. 

DHSS said it began laboratory testing for the source of the mold on Monday. The batch passed inspection prior to sale. 

No other concerns were voiced by the 200 consumers who purchased the same product, according to the department. 

A DHSS spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment. 

N’Bliss opened Missouri’s first two licensed dispensaries last week, making the first legal medical marijuana sales in the state Saturday. A third facility operated by opened in Lee’s Summit Monday. 

The state’s program had already seen controversy this year. 600 patient licenses were deemed invalid by DHSS in June after it discovered at least one person had impersonated a doctor and approved the licenses. 

In April, DHSS settled appeals from a pair of facilities originally denied licenses. 

The department defended its process against accusations of “scoring irregularities” from the Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association in January. 

Patients need approval from a doctor and a state-issued medical marijuana card to make purchases. 65,000 Missourians have been approved as patients so far. 

The state began accepting applications for cultivation, manufacturing, dispensing, and testing operations last August. The first batch of licenses was issued at the end of last year. Missouri’s first growing operation, operated by BeLeaf Medical, opened in St. Louis County in June. 

Missouri’s program was established by 2018’s Amendment 2.