We sat down with Clayborne Co. CEO and Co-founder Nick Ortega to talk the recent mandatory recall issued by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) two weeks ago. 

As we noted then, the cannabis impacted by the recall is one specific batch of the strain Head Banger from Clayborne Co. It was sold all over California from Nov. 2, 2021 until Jan. 26, 2022, in a variety of sizes. The batch number associated with the recall is 28090621HB.

The morning of Jan. 26, the DCC gave Clayborne a call to give them a heads up on the recall. Not long after, the announcement went public. Ortega notes just like every batch of cannabis the company produces, it was tested through multiple labs before it even went in for the test that gave it the official certificate of analysis that all weed in California needs to get to shelves. 

“We test our products multiple times before they go to market,” Ortega told L.A. Weekly. “This was no different.”

Just like everything else they’ve put in a jar, it met all of their standards and expectations.

“We were just as surprised as anybody to see the recall,” Ortega said. “They’re taking recalls very seriously.”

Ortega wasn’t insinuating that they weren’t before. But he believes now, as the DCC, officials are in a better position to do their research in house. 

He would go to speak of the perils of putting something to market you think is clean only yo go through the last couple of weeks. 

“It’s very tricky. It’s definitely tricky. So we’re prepared. I think we’re a pretty organized company in general. So we were definitely caught by surprise because of the reasons that you just mentioned,” Ortega said. 

As the recall notice was going out, DCC inspectors simultaneously arrived at Clayborne’s facility to do a standard inspection. 

“We passed with flying colors,” Ortega notes. “And we had great comments from them in regards to our cleanliness, our standard operating procedures, and so on and so forth. But by that time, the investigation was still open and they felt it was in the public’s best interest to continue with the mandatory recall.”

Ortega said they have never had any other red flag from the facility the Head Banger came out of besides the DCC test. Additionally, they still haven’t been given an exact breakdown of the methodology used to determine the recall as far as how much cannabis was tested before it was deemed a public safety risk.

“That’s where we just don’t have a lot of information. So we don’t know. First of all, who made the complaint? Because they say that somebody bought the product and filed a complaint. And that’s all we know, we don’t know,” Ortega said. “We don’t want to let our minds wander, but we don’t know who filed the complaints that triggered them to do an investigation.”

Ortega emphasized Clayborne is in no way against the DCC or anything like that. “We get it. They’re trying to do their best with the resources they have and everything in terms of these types of issues.” 

When it comes to their alleged microbial contamination, he believes all they can do is get the product back from the retailers as quickly as possible and hopefully do an investigation on their side as far as the root of the problem. Ortega said that the retailers Clayborne works with have been supportive through the hiccup, as the industry continues to mature around all of them. 

“There’s a maturation stage of the supply chain, I guess I would say right?” Ortega said, referencing the statement in our previous coverage of the recall. “And the DCC is now putting forth more standardized operating procedures for labs for example, that’s a step in the right direction. And when it comes to recalls, we really are not happy, of course, that we were the first ones that got a mandatory recall on our products; it really sucks. But at the same time, it means that the process is maybe working in a way in terms of making sure that safe product is on the market.”


LA Weekly