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No pesticide testing done for medical marijuana, Health Canada says (FEB/7) https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/no-pesticide-testing-done-for-marijuana-health-canada-says/article33948779/ Health Canada, which is facing a growing controversy over tainted medical marijuana, cannot say with certainty how widespread the use of banned pesticides is within the industry. Instead, the regulator has been leaving it up to the growers to police themselves on the use of potentially harmful chemicals. In a background briefing with The Globe and Mail, a senior Health Canada official acknowledged that even though the government prohibits the use of potentially harmful chemicals such as myclobutanil, – which is known to emit hydrogen cyanide when heated –the department has not been testing cannabis growers to ensure the 38 federally licensed companies were, in fact, not using it. A few days after the Mettrum problem emerged, two more companies – OrganiGram and Aurora Cannabis – announced recalls due to myclobutanil. The chemical was discovered after Aurora tested a bulk shipment of cannabis it purchased from OrganiGram. "In response to these events, Health Canada … will begin conducting random testing of medical-cannabis products produced by licensed producers, to provide added assurance to Canadians that they are receiving safe, quality-controlled product," the letter states. However, the new measures do not make regular testing mandatory for the companies. Though licensed producers are required to test for mould, bacteria and heavy metals, the government official said testing for harmful pesticides is still something that companies "have the option" of doing. Asked how patients could have confidence the product was not exposed to banned chemicals, given the lack of scrutiny by the government, Health Canada said it believed the system works. Health Canada gave no clear answer in its briefing as to why it wouldn't make testing mandatory for the licensed producers. One reason given by the senior official was that he believed there is only about three labs in Canada that could perform such testing, and there would be a backlog. The senior official said the department is hoping the companies themselves begin testing. Marijuana supplier hid pesticide from inspectors, former worker says (2/9/17) https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/marijuana-supplier-hid-pesticide-from-inspectors-former-worker-says/article33962026/? A federally licensed medical-marijuana company recently caught selling cannabis that contained a banned pesticide had used the dangerous chemical on its plants as far back as 2014, which it hid from Health Canada, says a former employee of Mettrum Ltd. Thomas McConville, who worked as a grower at Mettrum from early 2014 to August, 2015, told The Globe and Mail he witnessed employees at the company illegally applying myclobutanil to plants, despite knowing the controversial pesticide – which produces hydrogen cyanide when heated – was prohibited for use on cannabis. To evade detection when Health Canada inspectors visited the operation, an employee at Mettrum hid the chemical inside the ceiling tiles of the company's offices, Mr. McConville said. U.S. doctor says Canada is playing down risks of pesticide tainted-pot (Feb/10/17) https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/doctor-says-canada-is-playing-down-pesticide-tainted-pot-risks/article33991359/ "A top U.S. toxicologist is questioning Canada's response to a tainted-cannabis problem in the medical-marijuana sector, saying patients aren't being given accurate information on the risks associated with a banned pesticide thousands of people may have consumed." Dr. Porter raised alarms about myclobutanil and other chemicals last year at a high-level drug policy conference in New York, where he spoke about the impacts that even minuscule amounts of dangerous chemicals can have on the body. Health Canada sent several representatives to that conference. He said that even though the amount of chemical involved in the recalls can be classified as small, it does not mean that the risks can be dismissed. "Ultra-low doses can have all kinds of biological effects, especially over longer periods of exposure," he said. "So when these companies say 'Oh, there's no problem,' the first thing I would ask them is have you looked at the effects on the nervous system, the endocrine system, the immune system, and epigenetics?" Since the myclobutanil problem in Canada first came to light in December, Mettrum has since been purchased by Canopy Growth Corp., in a $430-million deal that closed Dec. 31. All Mettrum questions have now been referred to Canopy. Banned pesticide found at medical marijuana company (05/3/17) https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/banned-pesticide-found-at-medical-marijuana-company/article34882109/ New measures put in place by Health Canada to screen medical marijuana companies for contaminants have turned up further problems in the industry, with the discovery of a banned pesticide at Hydropothecary Corp. "Earlier this year, Health Canada announced it would begin conducting random testing of medical cannabis products for the use of unauthorized pest control products to provide added assurance to Canadians that they are receiving safe, quality-controlled product," Health Canada said in a statement Tuesday. Mysterious symptoms and medical marijuana: patients are looking for answers (8/19/17) https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/cannabis/article-mysterious-symptoms-and-medical-marijuana-patients-are-looking-for/ Mr. Wood, a former military police officer, had been consuming medical marijuana that, unbekno