Licensed Producer Cannabis Recall

Canadian Licensed Producer Cannabis Recalls – Sign of a System Working?

Second Licensed Producer Cannabis Recall in 2 Months

Task Force on cannabis

Last week’s recall by Oranigram/Aurora was the second major cannabis recall in 8 weeks for the banned pesticide Myclobutanil. Technically a fungicide, Myclobutanil is ok to eat (they say!) but is nasty if ingested via combustion (smoking) – the products of combustion include hydrogen cyanide (HCN). HCN is infamous as the primary active ingredient in Zyklon B, used by Nazi Germany to exterminate well over 1,000,000 souls, and as the gas used for judicial execution in many US states’ gas chambers until recently. Anyone smoking cannabis laced with this pesticide is ingesting lethal compounds, although Health Canada states that no one has yet filed an adverse reaction report.

While technically a Type II recall (relatively low probability of serious health effects) it is nonetheless a non-trivial matter. Coupled with the recall in November involving unexplained pyrethin in Mettrum product (they also found Myclobutanil but failed to disclose it at first), it evokes serious concerns about the ability of these licensed producers to control their product.

While Mettrum argues they were unaware of the additives as they were not included in the Material Safety Data Sheet, that point is moot. These additives have made their way to customers despite the regime in place designed to protect them, regardless of whose fault it is. Last week’s licensed producer cannabis recall was from the supposedly pesticide-free Organigram, whose web banner pronounces proudly “100% Organic Cannabis”. They have not explained yet why this happened.

Each new licensed producer cannabis recall strengthens the argument those in the grey market (dispensaries, grey market growers) have been making. The dispensaries that the LP’s are so quick to eschew publicly have been lobbying for  a proper public testing regime with certified labs available to test cannabis for both potency and banned substances. There are many in the grey market who long for such a regime as it will allow them to prove that their product is equally as safe and effective as that from LP’s. This won’t happen. The best they can hope for is that they’ll be offered an attainable path to legitimacy in the coming few years. Regardless of what it means for the dispensaries, it points out the hypocrisy in the LP’s denigration of the grey market.

The licensed producer system is supposed to make the product safe. Wouldn’t publicly available, independent labs help?