Pubdate: Thu, 01 Jun 2017
Source: Georgia Straight, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 The Georgia Straight
Author: Charlie Smith
Page: 12


Should dispensaries and licensed producers be regulated in a manner 2
similar to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's oversight of food
safety? The U.s.-based Cannabis Safety Institute published a paper in
2015 noting that "pesticide use is widespread" in the marijuana
industry and recommended that laboratories "must be supplied with
clear instructions" on which ones to test for. The institute also
pointed out that heavy metals, including arsenic, can be found in
soils and in poorly manufactured herbicides-and they can be absorbed
by cannabis plants.

One cannabis company that takes these issues seriously is Erbachay
Health Centers, which has a retail outlet at 8425 Granville Street.
"We test against any pesticide presence, mold (white mildew, bud rot,
black mold), any insects such as mites or residue of them, foreign
materials or any type of general contamination," it states on its website.

Erbachay also tests supplies for higher-than-average use of
fertilizer. This begins with a visual inspection using a digital scope
that amplifies the view 1,000 times, which offers a glimpse into
residuals that might be resting on the plant structure. This can also
reveal if there is an excess of nutrients locked into the plant, which
is a sign of excessive fertilizer use. The company states that there
are also smoke tests not only for quality but also for taste, which
can be another indication of excess nutrients.

The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary's Dana Larsen told the Georgia
Straight by phone that Health Canada prohibits licensed testing
companies from evaluating "illegal" marijuana. "So if I send them a
bunch of buds from my dispensary and say 'test this,' they won't do
it," Larsen stated. "Because of that, I can't put on my website that
'these buds were tested by so-and-so.' "

Long-term exposure to a group of moulds known as aspergillus in the
home or in marijuana has been linked to chronic pulmonary
aspergillosis. It results when a fungal ball of spores forms in the
lung cavity, according to the website, and this
"fungus secrets toxic products" that cause illness. "Coughing of blood
(haemoptysis) can occur in up to 50-80% of affected people," the
website states.
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MAP posted-by: Matt