Skip to main content

Press Release: Cannabis Control Board Issues a Consumer Protection Warning

Press Release


Consumer Protection Warning 

RE: All Strains of Cognizant Sparks/Top Notch Headies Cannabis Flower 

Montpelier, VT - The Cannabis Control Board (CCB) is issuing a consumer protection warning for flower produced by Cognizant Sparks (license number SCLTV0187) and sold under the trade name “Top Notch Headies,” due to pesticide contamination.  

Text Box

The CCB received a laboratory report that cannabis flower grown by Cognizant Sparks exceeded action limits for a prohibited pesticide.  The agency obtained and tested samples of several registered strains of Top Notch Headies flower.  Results confirmed the presence of actionable levels of spinosad (combined principal factors of spinosyn A and spinosyn D).   

The CCB is actively investigating this contamination event and coordinating with other state agencies to gather information on the potential health impacts of smoking flower contaminated with spinosyn.  Though scientific literature on the health impacts of ingesting spinosyn on food products indicates the compound is relatively safe, there is minimal information on the impacts of heating and inhaling spinosyn.  

The CCB has stopped sale of all Cognizant Sparks/Top Notch Headies flower at all retail establishments pending further investigation.  The CCB is issuing this warning for public and consumer awareness in the interest of public health and safety.  Consumers who have purchased Cognizant Sparks/Top Notch Headies flower should return it to store where they bought it.   

Sales of suspicious Cognizant Sparks/Top Notch Headies flower occurred at three specific retail locations:  

  • Bern Legacy Cannabis (Burlington) 

  • Emeraldrose Grows (Bristol) 

  • Capital Cannabis Company (Montpelier) 

If a consumer has experienced adverse health effects from consuming any cannabis flower or products, they should seek medical attention or call poison control (800-222-1222) immediately, report the event to the retail establishment from which they purchased the product, and report the event to the CCB by submitting a complaint through the CCB website.   

The CCB is actively investigating this incident.  As facts develop in the coming days, Health & Safety Orders or Notices of Violation may follow.