Sales of most medical marijuana products from Hydropothecary Corp. will resume after the Gatineau medical marijuana grower announced that it had recalled products affected by the discovery of trace amounts of an unapproved pesticide.
Hydropothecary announced the recall Tuesday morning, saying it was still searching for the source of the contamination at its facility in Masson-Angers, about 40 kilometres northeast of Ottawa.
The company voluntarily stopped all sales two weeks ago after a Health Canada spot check found the pesticide myclobutanil on plant samples.
Hydropothecary becomes the fourth medical marijuana producer in the past six months to recall products after testing showed the presence of myclobutanil and other pesticides not approved for use on cannabis.
Growing concerns about tainted medical marijuana prompted Health Canada earlier this month to order the country’s 43 producers to start testing for pesticides. Some companies, including Hydropothecary, had already begun such testing on their own.
It’s not known how many Hydropothecary customers have been affected by the sales halt and recall, as the company has declined to release those numbers.
However, the two-week sales halt was bound to be troublesome for the company and inconvenient for customers. Patients are only allowed to possess a month’s supply of medical marijuana at a time, or 150 grams of dried marijuana or the equivalent in oil, whichever is less. Any Hydropothecary patient who ran out of medicine during the sales halt would have needed to obtain a new doctor’s prescription to purchase from another producer.
The recall affects 14 lots of cannabis products sold between Feb. 1, 2016 and May 1, 2017. It was not clear how much dried bud and oil that represents. A company statement said lot sizes vary, but each lot contains only one strain and type of product. Customers who are affected are being contacted, the company said in a news release.
Initial testing results indicate the contamination occurred during “older production,” the company said.
Company officials have been searching horticultural records from the nursery and garden centre that used to occupy the 65-acre site.