A cannabis manufacturing plant explosion accident resulted in two workers sustaining injuries that required hospitalization. The explosion occurred at the New MexiCANN Natural Medicine plant located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In addition to two workers sustaining injuries, the New MexiCANN explosion accident has resulted in the revelation that multiple hazardous conditions and issues existed at the facility.
The New MexiCANN explosion accident itself occurred while the pair of injured workers were using equipment that extracts THC from the cannabis plant. THC is extracted in this manner in the process of creating different products now legally permitted to be sold in New Mexico (and in other countries around the United States). This includes the need to extract THC from cannabis for the production of edibles, a popular derivation of the product.
The post-explosion investigation revealed that the owner of the company altered what is known as the “hot plate system.” The hot plate system is what is used to extract THC from the cannabis plant. State regulations established through the New Mexico Department of Health require a closed-loop system to be used for this purpose.
The company’s owner was found to have switched to an impermissible open-loop system, an alteration at the foundation of the explosion accident that injured to New MexiCANN workers. The alteration resulted in the exposure of ethanol, a chemical used in the process. This ethanol exposure is how the explosion accident occurred.
The New MexiCANN explosion accident noted here was the second incident involving a blast at the plant in recent times. The fact that two explosion accidents happened at the facility within relatively short succession raised red flags with investigators and regulators. As a consequence, an intensive investigation was launched to review comprehensively the operations at the New MexiCANN Natural Medicine plant.
The second explosion at the facility, the one which is the focus of this article, even resulted in criminal charges being lodged. The owner of the facility, Carlos Gonzales, faces two counts of negligent arson arising from the second explosion discussed here.
Investigators have listed the following worker and other safety violations at the facility:
- Unlabeled edibles at the facility
- Food safety violations of different types
- Nonworking safety and security cameras
- Unlicensed marijuana plants
- And other health and safety violations
In addition to the criminal charges lodged against the company’s owner, New MexiCANN itself is facing dire consequences associated with the explosion accidents and other violations at the facility. Chief among these consequences was a hearing conducted in March to determine whether or not the company’s license to operate should be revoked permanently. As of mid-April, the presiding officer at the hearing had yet to enter a decision about the future of New MexiCANN.
Although a permanent revocation of the company’s license to operate is a possible if not likely outcome of the hearing, other sanctions are also possible. These might include the imposition of some type of monetary penalty. There is no timeframe within which the decision of the hearing officer is to be expected. With that said, a final determination is likely to be handed down this spring.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an explosion accident, including in an incident like that at the New MexiCANN cannabis plant, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year by calling (800) 349-0000. Our phone lines are staffed on all major holidays as well.
A nationwide law firm, we can arrange an initial consultation and case evaluation with one of our experienced explosion accident lawyers at any one of our 40 offices located from coast to coast. We can also arrange a consultation at your home or any other location that is convenient for you. If you prefer, a virtual appointment can be scheduled online. The Doan Law Firm never charges a fee for an initial consultation with an explosion accident lawyer.
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