EXCLUSIVE: Former HEKA, Inc. employee expresses concerns on cannabis growing process

EXCLUSIVE: Former HEKA, Inc. employee expresses concerns on cannabis growing process
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 7:49 PM EDT
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WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -A former employee of a local cannabis company reached out to Western Mass News, concerned that their growing process may not be safe for the public’s consumption.

Western Mass News spoke with this employee exclusively, who wanted to remain anonymous, to learn more.

A former employee of the cannabis dispensary HEKA Incorporated, out of Westfield, sent Western Mass News a video of the cannabis plants at the growing facility. They reported seeing spider mites, mold, and mildew, covering the marijuana plant.

“Extreme green, overrun powdery mildew and mold that is infecting all of the flower in the facility,” they said.

The former employee has more than six years of experience in the marijuana industry. They said that HEKA knowingly distributed the marijuana, which the employee said is unsafe for the public to smoke.

“Powdery mildew is very dangerous for anyone that has a lung medical issue. It can produce further lung infection,” the former HEKA employee explained.

The Cannabis Control Commission has strict policies that local dispensaries are required to follow.

This includes sending their plants in for testing, which the former employee said the company has found a way around that.

“Out of a batch of maybe a thousand plants, you only have to send in a few grams, of that batch to be tested so those will be hand selected thoroughly to make sure that they are clean. Once those selected samples pass testing, the remainder of the batch then automatically gets passed for testing,” the former employee explained.

Western Mass News reached out to the Cannabis Control Commission and they said they had already received a complaint about HEKA Incorporated’s plants. They released a statement to Western Mass News that reads quote:

“The Cannabis Control Commission received this inquiry on Friday, May 27 and is looking into it. In general, the agency takes seriously the health and safety of patients and consumers who purchase product from licensed facilities, and the agents who staff them. Commission staff will continue to conduct scheduled and unannounced inspections of Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, including routine compliance checks, inquiries, and investigations into constituent complaints.”

Western Mass News out to HEKA Incorporated, both through email and calling their Westfield dispensary, but they did not return our request for comment.