The Question of Banned Pesticides in Canadian Cannabis

Myclobutanil, a fungicide found to affect the reproductive organs in animal studies, is a growing concern these days, especially in the Canadian medicinal cannabis market.

The reason for that is simple:

In the last several months, a total of 2 licensed producers (one of which is very reputable, but more on that later) have issued recalls of certain amounts of dried cannabis, due to finding the above mentioned chemical in their products.

The first producer to detect myclobutanil in their product was Organigram (based in New Brunswick), who recalled a year’s worth of product back in January, just after Health Canada detected not one, but five banned substances, two of which were pesticides.

Just several weeks ago, the cannabis market was faced with another product recall, due to the same problem. This time, it was Broken Coast, who withdrew 3 batches of dried flowers in late August 2017.

Thankfully, Broken Coast patients did not report any unwanted effects from their cannabis, which could be either customer loyalty or the low amount of pesticide in their products, which was probably too low to cause any harm.

However, Organigram patients did have a few things to say. In an interview with the Globe, they reported weight loss, increase in pain and mucus as some of the biggest symptoms they suffered after consuming the producer’s cannabis.

It’s good to know that this pesticide is allowed for use in Canada, however, it is considered extremely dangerous when heated, as it produces the following toxic fumes — hydrogen chloride, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxide.

So, here’s the big question:

Why do producers risk their reputation over a substance that is officially prohibited by Health Canada and has such a harmful effect when heated up and inhaled?

Apparently, it’s a question of risking a few weeks of PR over potentially millions of dollars worth of product that could be lost due to an outbreak of some fungal disease in their facility.

Myclobutanil is extremely good at targeting and preventing a disease called powdery mildew, which is a fungal disease that grows extremely well in areas with high humidity and moderate temperatures.

However, powdery mildew can also be managed with careful farming. The question is: is the risk too big for producers to sleep peacefully?

As we approach the legalization date, the question of commercialization can bring in some unwanted guests to our market. Pesticides are one of those things that can not only destroy reputation of one licensed producer but can also destroy the growing reputation of cannabis in the mainstream market.

So, guys, please…Stick to Health Canada guidelines for the sake of our entire culture.


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1 thought on “The Question of Banned Pesticides in Canadian Cannabis”

  1. As a patient and consumer of medical cannabis, I ingested the banned pesticide, Myclobutanil, for close to a year. Since that time, there has not been a day without unpleasant, and potentially life threatening symptoms. I am a shadow of the person I was. I’ve aged 5 years in one year. I don’t expect to get out of this alive, and I’m not alone. Is Health Canada covering up their real findings? Greater minds than mine will have to sort that out. But make no mistake, Health Canada is to blame and needs to take responsibility. In 2018, our children will be at risk of ingesting hydrogen cyanide. Is anyone listening?

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