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Md. marijuana recall: ForwardGro products ordered off the shelves, commission won’t say why

10/28/18--The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission issued an “administrative hold” on all products using marijuana grown by ForwardGro, which operates a large greenhouse in Lothian, in Anne Arundel County. The hold, communicated to the state’s 69 dispensaries on Oct. 7, was described as a “precautionary measure.” The commission ordered sellers to “quarantine” ForwardGro products, adding: “Follow up instructions will be forthcoming in the future.” Read

Marijuana dispensary slams state for pesticide bust

9/13/18--Members of the Massachusetts medical marijuana industry are warning that a state crackdown on their use of pesticides would cripple growing operations and threaten the supply of cannabis to patients who rely on the drug. Read

Many California marijuana products failing safety tests

9/11/18--Nearly 20 percent of marijuana products in California have failed tests for potency and purity since the state started requiring the checks on July 1, a failure rate some in the industry say has more to do with unrealistic standards and technical glitches than protecting consumer safety. Read

‘Real nonsense’: Why are Alaska marijuana buyers obsessed with high potency?

9/10/18--In Alaska's cannabis stores, marijuana is often priced by its potency. Marijuana that has higher levels of THC is often called "top-shelf" by stores, and the price difference can be considerable. Yet, just because a plant tests at a high potency doesn't necessarily make it better than another, lower-testing cannabis plant, some business owners say. In fact, Alaskans' push for high-THC products may have consequences for both consumers and business owners. Read

Inside the weird and wild crusade for clean pot

3/1/18--Figuring out what the rules should be to prevent impurities from contaminating pot is nearly impossible. There are no national standards like there are for food crops. “And unfortunately, pretty much all of the marijuana in the United States is drenched in harmful chemicals,” according to Rolling Stone reporter Amanda Chicago Lewis. “But let’s just say that if you like pot, you have absolutely exposed yourself to chemicals that can damage your central nervous system, mess with your hormones and give you cancer. Read

Massachusetts refuses to referee marijuana testing dispute

8/21/18--Mandated laboratory testing would ensure that cannabis products sold in regulated stores are free of pesticides, mold, and other contaminants. Yet, a bitter scientific and business feud has split into two camps the state’s four marijuana testing labs, which currently serve medical dispensaries and will soon join the lucrative recreational market. The state Department of Public Health, which oversees medical marijuana, has declined to referee the dispute or update its testing regime, despite warnings from the labs that a lack of standards and holes in protocols are undermining confidence in the system. Read

Medical marijuana commission alerts patients to how best to report negative reactions

8/11/18--An email from a medical marijuana dispensary owner alerting patients to a state investigation into whether a Maryland cannabis grower used pesticides and warning them of possible harmful side effects has spurred concern throughout the young industry. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission took issue with the email in an online bulletin from executive director Joy A. Strand, who stated that the notification was “not accurate.” Read

FDA issues warning after synthetic marijuana tainted with rat poison sickens hundreds

7/20/18--Federal health officials are warning the public about a version of synthetic marijuana laced with rat poison that's caused uncontrolled bleeding in hundreds of people and killed several others who have ingested the tainted products. The synthetic cannabinoid, sold under names such as Spice, K2 and AK 47, has hospitalized people in 10 states since early March. Read

Still buying illegal weed in California? It may not be as clean as you think

2/2/18--In California, plenty of growers run legit, organic operations—but cannabis can be a dirty, dirty game. According to California Academy of Sciences curator Jack Dumbacher, it's a mess out there, and it costs taxpayers millions of dollars to clean up the sites. As cannabis use goes recreational in California, producers are facing a reckoning: They’ll either have to clean up their act, or get out of the legal market. Read

Is there moldy cannabis in Mass?

1/11/19--According to a complaint files by licensed physical therapist Anne Hassel, mold was an issue at both Franklin cultivation center and the Northampton dispensary. The former budtender reported that she “observed powered mildew flower” while trimming cannabis in 2016 in Franklin but was instructed by a supervisor to “cut around it.” She also says that management dunked “marijuana flower into a hydrogen peroxide solution to treat the mold. Read

There’s something fishy with Alaska’s marijuana potency testing results

11/24/17--A committee will look at issues regarding the testing of cannabis products amid inconsistency in potency results from different labs. Erika McConnell, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office, recommended a review of testing regulations, citing, among other reasons, evidence of “significant deviation” in potency-testing results of the same product by different labs. Read

Can we trust pot labs? Suspensions show the state has failed to keep bad weed out of pot shops

9/13/17--According to an article by Lester Black published in The Stranger, lab audits commissioned by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB), the state agency that regulates recreational cannabis, indicate that the state might not be doing its job in keeping bad weed out of pot shops. The audit found that the lab was also using poor lab practices in calculating THC potency, a key indicator in pricing retail cannabis—where the higher the THC, the higher the price. Read

Will California’s pesticide regulations hurt the weed industry?

8/14/17--Pesticide regulations released earlier this year by the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis are some of the strictest requirements in the country — possibly the strictest — and have left both cultivators and testing laboratories reeling. Yet, while California will certainly have some of the “more stringent testing standards of any state that’s legalized thus far,” Alex Traverso, chief of communications at the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, said they’re trying to protect consumers while minimizing financial burden on producers. Read

Weed fraud: Are you getting cheated?

6/22/17--Many of the states that have legalized marijuana now require tests for potency and purity to ensure that consumers know exactly what they’re buying when they visit a dispensary. But, the labs that conduct these tests are governed by rules that vary widely from state to state, and there are concerns within the industry that unscrupulous labs are operating without adequate oversight and colluding with growers to falsify results. Read

Right now, there’s no way to know what’s in your California weed

6/20/17--To prevent state-mandated testing problems in California, industry experts at a recent public hearing in San Jose urged reforms to draft regulations by the state’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation. They urged the creation of “pre-testing” labs so that producers would know, early on, if their product is contaminated. They asked that the failed product be returned, not destroyed, so they could fix it. They also sought small-batch testing and adequate staffing. Read

Contaminated marijuana still reaching consumers in Oregon

6/17/17--Nine months after Oregon issued the toughest rules in the nation to keep pesticide-tainted marijuana off store shelves, the state acknowledges that some contaminated products continue to reach consumers. Oregon wrote its own rules to crack down on pesticides in cannabis production. But it has faced a backlash from parts of the state's nearly $320 million industry over the expense and inefficiency of the requirements and the inconsistency of the results. Read

The word ‘and’ in Colorado bill marks major mistake for marijuana research

6/7/17--Gov. John Hickenlooper has sent a bill to the Secretary of State without his signature, pointing out that one accidental word in the bill negatively impacts its original purpose. As part of one amendment, the word "and" was inserted to replace the word "or." Due to the change, no state or local agency may use or employ test results from a lab not certified by the Department of Revenue and accredited to the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission. Read

Inside the high-tech labs that make sure your legal marijuana is safe

5/6/17--When marijuana legalization came, so did regulation. In order to be sold through the proper legal channels, marijuana needs to be tested for potency, pesticides, and a variety of other things depending on what state you happened to be in. Testing labs quickly sprang up to fill the need. Nowadays, there are hundreds of them scattered across the country, mostly in states where both medical and recreational marijuana use has been legalized. Read

Health Canada orders medical marijuana growers to test for banned pesticides

5/6/17--Canada’s medical marijuana growers will have to start testing all their products for unauthorized pesticides, says Health Canada, stepping up the government’s response to concerns about tainted marijuana. Read

Are you consuming pesticide-peppered pot? Full recall list

5/16/17--Due to the constant recalls of marijuana and pot products, and the long lists of items associated with often-lengthy batch numbers, The Cannabist has compiled all of the available information in one place for readers concerned about the purity of their pot. Details include a reporting on each recall as well as the city of Denver’s press releases on the recalls, which contain exact information to help users identify any tainted pot and cannabis products they might have. Read

Oregon marijuana testing still controversial

4/24/17--In balancing consumer safety with the needs of the burgeoning cannabis industry, Oregon is still trying to figure out what makes most sense in setting its own marijuana testing policy, and no political change is without controversy. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recently suggested a significant overhaul in cannabis testing rules in an attempt to address problems with the current set of procedures. Read

Investigators find contaminated weed in California medical marijuana supply

4/1/17--Marijuana dispensaries in California are pulling products off their shelves after a recent investigation found a majority of the medical products tested from stores contained dangerous contaminants. Approximately 93 percent of the products contained high levels of pesticides exceeding many safety limits in other states with legal marijuana. While patients may assume medical marijuana in California is already stringently tested, there are no current requirements for lab testing of products. Read

Managing marijuana: How a Mass. lab makes sure it’s safe for patients

3/20/17--Medical marijuana has been legal in Rhode Island for a decade, but the state doesn’t require the drug to be tested before patients use it. In Massachusetts, where testing is required, Eyewitness News visited Proverde Laboratories to find out how the process works, what scientists look for, and if this testing will be in Rhode Island soon. Proverde Laboratories tests the drug in all its forms, from the plant to oils and edibles. Read

Third lawsuit launched in Canada over tainted medical marijuana

3/16/17--A third proposed class-action lawsuit over pesticide-laden medical marijuana in Canada raises additional questions about Health Canada’s claim that people who consumed the tainted cannabis weren’t becoming ill. Canopy Growth Corp., which bought Mettrum at the start of the year, and Organigram have vowed to fight the allegations. Read

Class-action lawsuit launched against Canopy Growth over pesticide in marijuana

3/14/17--A Halifax-based law firm has launched a class-action lawsuit against Canopy Growth and its subsidiary Mettrum over recalls of medical marijuana that contained unauthorized pesticides. A released statement alleges that Mettrum breached its contract with consumers and that its development, distribution, and sale of medical marijuana was negligent. Read

Pesticides and pot: what’s California smoking?

2/22/17--An NBC4 I-Team investigation found evidence suggesting that pesticides could be present in a lot of the marijuana legally sold in California. And, some scientists are especially concerned about those pesticides being inhaled when people smoke or vape marijuana. People who work in the legal marijuana industry say California needs regulations severely limiting and prohibiting use of pesticides on pot and ensure a safe legal marijuana supply. Read

Germs, mold found in some medical marijuana

2/15/17--Study researchers tested 20 different samples of dried marijuana obtained from Northern California dispensaries and found several potentially dangerous pathogens in the samples. The germs found by the researchers wouldn't harm an average pot user, but could be potentially fatal to people whose immune systems have been suppressed, said lead researcher Dr. George Thompson III. Read

Bay Area medicinal marijuana tests positive for toxic fungicide

2/7/17--Samples from five different Bay Area dispensaries and one black market sample were tested in a lab for toxic fungicide. Test results indicated that there was only one clean dispensary sample, while three more had high traces of pesticide. The black market sample was the most contaminated and failed on nine different pesticide tests. Read

Arizona medical marijuana dispensary issues recall

2/1/17--Flourish Cannabis, an Arizona-based medical marijuana dispensary, is issuing a voluntary recall on several of its edible food items, citing a packaging issue. Peyton Curry, founder of Flourish, said the recall was issued because the dispensary did not meet the packing requirements for Coconino County. Read

OrganiGram tightens medical marijuana production after 2016 recall

1/24/17--OrganiGram Inc. has tightened up the way it produces medical marijuana after a recent recall due to the detection of unapproved pesticide in the product, says the CEO of the Moncton company Denis Arsenault. The company issued a voluntary recall for 69 lots of medical marijuana supplied between August 2016 and December 2016. Read

Denver MJ company recalls products for possible pesticides

1/23/17--Denver marijuana company Green Man Cannabis is voluntarily recalling marijuana and cannabis-infused products after samples showed they could contain residual levels of illegal pesticides. The city’s environmental health department is probing whether the company's products were exposed to unsafe pesticides. Read

Medical marijuana recall expanded after banned pesticide found

1/16/17--Two more licensed medical marijuana producers have voluntarily recalled hundreds of grams of the drug after traces of a controversial pesticide banned in Canada were detected in their supply, raising questions about Ottawa’s oversight of an industry expected to explode with the upcoming legalization of cannabis. Read

Medical marijuana gummies removed from dispensaries

12/23/16--Some packages of medical marijuana gummies produced in Illinois have been pulled from dispensary shelves and destroyed because of what appeared to be mold, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. An official with Ataraxia, the company that produced the gummies at its downstate marijuana cultivation center, said internal quality control procedures revealed that a new type of packaging allowed moisture inside a small number of 100 mg gummy multi-packs. Read

Durango grants license to marijuana testing facility

tmr_image-block12/5/16--Green Lab Solutions owner Steve Ottersberg says his company is one of 15 certified laboratories statewide that will oversee the testing results for hundreds of grow facilities. The labs test for marijuana potency as well as mold and bacteria. Green Lab Solutions is also working to get licensed by the state health department so it can get up and running by January. Read

Oregon eases up on marijuana testing regulations

tmr_image-block12/2/16--The state of Oregon has eased up temporarily on testing requirements for marijuana. Upon announcing the temporary rules, seek the Oregon Health Authority said that they would provide relief for the industry while maintaining public health protection. Read

Oregon revises marijuana rules after industry backlash

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-8-07-24-pm12/2/16--Oregon on Friday issued temporary new rules aimed at easing what marijuana producers and processors say is a major backlog that has brought parts of the industry to a standstill, left store shelves empty, and prompted some companies to lay off workers. Read

How strict rules are hurting the Oregon marijuana industry, more than helping

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-1-55-02-am12/2/16--The state’s strict rules around pesticide testing for Oregon marijuana are hurting its fledgling recreational industry and could mean a $10 million drop in tax revenue from sales in the fourth quarter. Oregon has only certified six labs, and that’s created a bottleneck for testing. Testing that should take five days is taking to up to 21 days — a delay that’s meant low supply, increased prices, and lost revenue. Read

State warns Oregon MJ growers about unapproved pesticides

tmr_image-block11/22/16--Three of Oregon’s government agencies have warned marijuana cultivators about using pesticides not approved by the state for use on cannabis crops. The directors of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Health Authority, and Oregon Liquor Control Commission said producers can meet Health Authority pesticide standards, but still be in violation of the state’s Pesticide Control Act if any levels of illegal pesticides are found. Read

Alaska’s first marijuana testing lab opens in Anchorage

fb-square-english-spanish10/24/16--CannTest LLC, Alaska's first marijuana testing laboratory, opened for business Monday, offering cannabis analysis for retail outlets and commercial or private growers. Read

Officials in Oregon town issue health alert for pesticide-tainted pot

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-11-14-10-pm10/24/16--State health officials have issued a health alert about marijuana products that may have been tainted with high levels of a pesticide and sold to about 130 people southwest of Portland. The Oregon Health Authority said the alert concerns dried flower marijuana sold by a medical marijuana dispensary called New Leaf in McMinnville. Read

Marijuana businesses push back on Oregon’s testing rules, ask for delay

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-12-11-17-pm10/12/16--Some makers of marijuana concentrates, extracts, and edibles are complaining that the state lacks approved labs to carry out all of the required tests, causing long delays, leaving them out of the state's new recreational marijuana program that opened this month. The criticisms have pushed Oregon's pot regulators to convene a meeting Wednesday to evaluate the problems. Read

Washington likely to establish more labs to test pot for banned pesticides

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-7-36-57-pm9/18/16--After the legalization of marijuana sales, Washington state is planning to test pot for banned pesticide more regularly, and the screening process will begin early next year. Washington has required testing for mold and other impurities since it began allowing recreational pot sales in 2014. Read