A controversial pesticide banned in Canada has been discovered in products sold by a federally licensed medical marijuana producer, The Globe and Mail has learned, but neither the company nor Health Canada have informed the public. Myclobutanil, a chemical that is also prohibited for use on legal cannabis in Colorado, Washington and Oregon because of health concerns, was found in product recently recalled by Mettrum Ltd., a Toronto-based medical marijuana company.
Admittedly, nobody is suggesting that some nefarious corporate malfeasance has just been exposed. Hopefully, it just turns out to be instances of human error in both cases. Nonetheless, it hurts the credibility of an industry that insists that it grows and sells the cleanest, safest, best-quality medicinal marijuana in the whole world. It also undermines the argument that Canada’s many small medical pot dispensaries should be legislated out of business — all because their products aren’t grown under the watchful eye of Health Canada or even with its approval. In fact, some LPs have even lobbied to have their main rivals shut down for selling cannabis that isn’t grown to pharmaceutical-grade standards.
Marc Davis, 01/03/2017
Two more licensed medical marijuana producers have voluntarily recalled hundreds of grams of the drug after traces of a controversial pesticide banned in Canada were detected in their supply, raising questions about Ottawa’s oversight of an industry expected to explode with the upcoming legalization of cannabis. Last week, Organigram, a publicly traded grower based in Moncton, expanded a Dec. 28 recall of a small amount of product to include almost all of its cannabis buds and oils produced in 2016. On Monday, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc., a publicly traded firm based in Alberta, announced it had recalled seven lots of cannabis it had bought from Organigram and sold to its clients – through the mail-order system overseen by Health Canada – from August to October of last year.
Organigram is one of three medical marijuana companies caught up in a banned-pesticide scare that has swept through the medical marijuana industry and raised concerns about Health Canada’s oversight of the sector – particularly as Ottawa prepares to legalize cannabis for recreational use, creating what is expected to be a highly lucrative business. Mettrum Ltd., Organigram Inc., and Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced late last year that they were recalling products after the pesticide myclobutanil was discovered in medicine sold to clients. Myclobutanil is outlawed on plants that are smoked because it produces hydrogen cyanide when heated and can cause serious health problems.
New measures put in place by Health Canada to screen medical marijuana companies for contaminants have turned up further problems in the industry, with the discovery of a banned pesticide at Hydropothecary Corp. The company, one of more than three dozen federally licensed cannabis producers, was told by Health Canada on Monday that leaf samples taken during an inspection of its Gatineau facility contained myclobutanil. The chemical, which is used to kill mildew, is a known carcinogen that is strictly prohibited for use on plants that are smoked because it produces hydrogen cyanide when heated.