Photo by the Dank Depot
In an unprecedented move, Health Canada has recommended the recall of two crops of medical cannabis for being stronger than the labeled amount of THC. THC is the active component in marijuana that gets the user high. The company involved, Peace Naturals Project, has had its product seized once before. Peace Naturals has voluntarily recalled the crops in question.
The labeled amount of THC on the batch of cannabis in question is 9.07 percent THC. The government tested the cannabis at least 13.7 percent THC. Both Health Canada and Peace Naturals haven’t reported any complaints about the product from its users — most users seem to want a higher dose of THC for their dollar.
This will be the fourth recall made by Health Canada since medical cannabis was mass-produced starting in April of last year. Reasons for previous recalls were mold and questionable production practices. The goal for Health Canada is to have the medical cannabis industry regulated as pharmaceutical companies are. With mass-produced cannabis not even a year old, the rules of practice are still being straightened out. Health Canada has been cracking down on producers in terms of quality control and proper labeling.
The organization has approved 23 commercial growing companies since last year, which is far below the predicted 60 companies the government agency had anticipated to be approved by now. With tightening regulations and a convoluted approval process, entry into the estimated 1.3 billion dollar per year industry can be frustrating. The recall of the Peace Naturals product is just one example of this.
So far, only one applicant is challenging Health Canada’s decision to refuse it a medical marijuana license. New Age Medical Solutions Inc. asked a federal court judge to review its rejection after Health Canada said it hadn’t hired a suitable quality assurance employee.
Many have said that Health Canada’s licensing approach is too convoluted. According to reports, one company is spending $11,000 each month waiting for a final inspection of its facilities and practices. Another company hired a whole call center to process orders by users only to have to eliminate the jobs because they, too, were waiting for Health Canada to inspect its facilities.
These growing pains will hopefully be remedied soon as producers and Health Canada work together to iron out production and delivery practices. Health Canada wants to limit the number of companies it has to interact with in the interest of a high-functioning, tightly-controlled marketplace, discarding ones that don’t meet its ideals. In the future, the Huffington Post reports, Health Canada has plans tighten its rules even further.
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