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Opinion: Delta Extraction is ready for our day in court

For months, Delta has waited for the opportunity to present the facts in our legal challenge of the wrongful and unjustified revocation of our license to operate a Missouri cannabis manufacturing facility.

Finally, proceedings next week at the Administrative Hearing Commission will publicly unveil the depth of mismanagement and overreach by Missouri’s Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) that should deeply concern our fellow operators as well as consumers and advocates who have an important stake in the success of the industry.

What happened to Delta Extraction could easily happen to you. It means that a fabricated complaint can shut any licensed operator.

Our case underscores the profound impact an immature regulatory scheme can have on an industry in a short amount of time. While recent media coverage has emphasized the widespread challenges faced nationwide in regulating hemp and its derivatives, here it is a red herring DCR is using to cover up the confusion it caused in hastily evolving rules to oversee and regulate industry-wide, scientific processes and procedures wherein the agency clearly lacks a depth of understanding. This case is not about science, but about hubris, a rush to judgment, and administrative overreach.

Delta’s use of THCa was not only lawful under Article XIV and all rule iterations up to July 30, 2023, but provided a safe, reliable and tested supply of delta-9 THC distillate for the Missouri market when the industry had a scarcity of product and soaring demand following the passage of recreational marijuana. From the outset, Delta Extraction meticulously designed our standard operating procedures (SOPs) around the safe, compliant and permissible use of cannabinoids, and those SOPs were reviewed, approved, and accepted by our compliance office and DCR.

Perhaps the most egregious aspect has been the complete infringement of our right to remedy any potential infractions. With no prior notice nor a meaningful opportunity to be heard, DCR investigators showed up at our doorstep, suspended our operations, and locked us out of our own facility. DCR regulations stipulate that before a license is revoked or suspended, the licensee must be given notice and an opportunity to rectify cited deficiencies or to challenge the allegations.

In order to immediately shut us down, DCR falsely alleged that our products were an imminent threat to public safety, allowing them the authority to immediately revoke our license and recall over 65,000 products worth millions of dollars to Missouri licensed retailers. These allegations of health and public safety were made in the absence of conclusive testing or evidence, and, to this day, DCR has not completed a single safety test on our recalled products.

Next week, Delta will mount a vigorous defense of our company’s reputation and practices, which were legal, lawful, allowed under Article XIV, and performed with the full knowledge and approval of DCR. We are advocating for a regulatory environment that is fair, transparent, and is guided by a robust scientific framework for addressing the complexity of the issues in the industry.

We hope that what happened to Delta never happens again, and that next week will mark a turning point in the regulatory approach to the cannabis industry in Missouri