Pubdate: Wed, 08 Feb 2017
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2017 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Ben Cousins


Health Canada is randomly testing medical marijuana for unapproved
pesticides after the chemicals were found in samples.

The announcement comes one month after two medical marijuana companies
voluntary recalled their product after unapproved pesticides -
myclobutanil and bifenazate - were found in the marijuana.

Included among the companies was OrganiGram, a Moncton-based producer
of medical cannabis and Atlantic Canada's only licensed grower of the

Health Canada's regulations only allow a list of 13 pesticides in
medical marijuana, and myclobutanil and bifenazate are not approved.

Myclobutanil is a fungicide used to control fungal growth in grapes
and wine. When heated, the pesticide breaks down into hydrogen cyanide.

In 2015, two marijuana users in Colorado filed a class action lawsuit
against LivWell Inc. because the company used myclobutanil in their

Bifenazate is typically used to control mites on peppers and tomatoes.
Tests haven't been done on the effects of bifenazate when burned and

OrganiGram is a certified organic grower and claims to not use either
of these compounds in the production process.

But OrganiGram recalled 69 lots of medical marijuana supplied between
August 2016 and December 2016 in early January.

Soon afterwards, Health Canada extended the recall to include dried
marijuana and cannabis oil produced from Feb. 1 to Dec. 16, 2016.

According to an OrganiGram news release, the recall cost the company
almost $500,000.

The January news release adds that the company has "faced challenges
and setbacks as the regulations that govern our industry and the
market in which we operate continues to evolve."

Health Canada says both companies involved in the recall have changed
their testing regime to ensure the unapproved pesticides are not used.

"Thanks to the prompt action of our team, the understanding and
loyalty of our patients and investors, the support of our licensed
testing counterparties, and the collaboration and oversight of our
industry's regulators, (OrganiGram) has been able to address these
challenges and setbacks immediately and definitively," said
Organigram, CEO Denis Arsenault in the news release.

In November, OrganiGram made headlines after teaming up with the Nova
Scotia-based Trailer Park Boys to develop a Trailer Park Boys-branded
line of products targeted toward recreational marijuana consumers.

The deal also includes product placement opportunities as well as
branding on vapourizers and other cannabis items.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt