Exploding sodas, part 3

On Sept. 30 we had a post about carbonation problems causing bottles to pop caps or explode on Mirth Provisions’ line of Legal sodas, a story which seems to have hit the news again today for some reason.

It was the second time owner Adam Stites had a problem with carbonation problems.

(From Mirth's Site: Word to your mother! Mother Nature, that is. This infusion of fresh juices and cannabis extract is an awesome companion for soaking in natural beauty, whether you hike Mt. Rainier or hang out in your own backyard. Toss it in a backpack, grab a map and a friend, and spend some time with Mama.)
(Mirth Legal Pomegranate soda)

The first time, the issues were caused by a shipment of the wrong bottle types to Stites’ facility in Longview, he said.

The second time, after Stites had made a few deliveries to stores, store owners reported that the sodas were popping tops or exploding and he recalled them.

After looking into the issue, he found out what caused it.

“We been working closely with our lab and we’ve identified the cause as excess yeast in that batch,” Stites said in an email. “We’ve modified our manufacturing processes to completely eliminate that yeast. We’ve made several test batches with the new processes and they are testing with zero yeast.”

The Associated Press has a story out today about sodas exploding at Top Shelf Cannabis, a Bellingham store, that’s getting picked up by several news outlets.

I asked Stites what happened there, and here’s what he said:

“The sodas were off the shelf immediately,” Stites said in an email. “I personally retrieved the Vancouver shipments, but, due to the distance, and the fact that Top Shelf’s owner took his truck and was out of town, we weren’t able to send a driver to pull all product from Top Shelf in Bellingham until Monday. There are still a few more cases which are at the deep on the bottom of the tool chest (that Top Shelf used to store the sodas in) which we are going to remove on Saturday.”

Adam Stites
Adam Stites

Stites said he’s confident the issues have been resolved, but he wants to do more testing before bringing Legal out to stores again. Here’s what he said when I asked for an ETA:

“We want to do two more accelerated shelf life/microbial tests (based on our new process) which will probably take a week,” he said in an email. “Then after that about a week until we’re in stores (extract, mix, carbonate, bottle, test again (potency & microbial), then quarantine for delivery to stores). The next batch will be another soft launch with local retailers (Cowlitz & Clark counties).”

-SueVo (sue.vorenberg@columbian.com)