Article by David Brown, Lift News
Today Health Canada announced the results of a new inspection and testing program in the wake of several pesticide-related recalls in the last six months. The regulator also announced that it will now require all licensed producers to conduct mandatory testing of all cannabis products destined for sale for the presence of unauthorized pesticides.
Preliminary results from seven surprise inspections and 43 random samples show, of seven different leaf samples taken, two came back showing the presence of unapproved pesticides. Leaf samples were taken from cannabis plants in various stages of growth and tested at parts per billion. Testing of dried cannabis and cannabis oil samples taken from the seven licensed producers is ongoing and the results are not yet available.
Health Canada says they “collected samples of plant leaves, dried cannabis and cannabis oil (if produced), as well as samples of any products suspected to contain pesticides the inspectors found on site.”
The testing was completed on May 1st and 4th by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency at seven different sites: RedeCan, 7Acres, Tweed, Tilray, Broken Coast, Hydropothecary and Peace Naturals. The first five passed testing, while Hydropothecary and Peace Naturals did not.
According to Health Canada, “both leaf samples at Hydropothecary tested positive for myclobutanil at low level concentrations of between 0.012 and 0.023 parts per million (ppm), and one leaf sample from plants at Peace Naturals tested positive for piperonyl butoxide at a low level concentration of 0.78 ppm.” Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) is an organic compound used as a component of pesticides and found in many insecticides approved for use by Health Canada.
Health Canada announced their new testing program last February after products from two different licensed producers were found to have the presence of myclobutanil and/or bifenazate, both unapproved pesticides for cannabis in Canada. As of May 2, only 17 pesticides are approved for use on cannabis in Canada by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA).
Dr. Shane Morris, the Vice-President and Quality Assurance and Scientific Affairs Officer at Hydropothecary, says the Quebec producer has been doing its own internal testing, which showed no levels of pesticides below any detectable levels at parts per million. Health Canada’s testing went to parts per billion. Hydropothecary has been posting all their own internal pesticide results on their website.