The Cannabis Growers of Canada is responding to the recent press release issued by Health Canada on September 21, 2016 where the agency reiterated its irresponsible stance with respect to cannabis dispensaries.

As proven in a recent Globe & Mail report, most cannabis sold at dispensaries meets or exceeds the standards set by Health Canada for licensed producers. Whether this cannabis was grown under license from Health Canada or not (i.e. “illegally”) is irrelevant to the question of patient care and safety.

Health Canada has a long and well-established history of interfering with patient rights that calls into question whether or not the agency is derelict in its duty to protect the Canadian public from unsafe medicines.

To date, Health Canada has not produced a single individual made sick by contaminated cannabis purchased at a dispensary.

The ongoing (and potentially libelous) statements made by Health Canada only instil fear in the public and direct them towards purchasing clearly inferior product from its licensed commercial producers.

Health Canada is also guilty of threatening cannabis testing labs that have sought for years to serve cannabis patients and dispensaries, an act that is clearly against their government mandate. The recent press release only partly remedies the untenable situation created by the agency.

While the CGC is pleased to see that licensed ACMPR patients and injunction-protected MMAR patients can now legally access these testing services, excluding dispensaries is yet another act of harassment and reckless endangerment of the Canadian public.

The CGC would also like to reiterate that its members (including dispensaries) can access cannabis testing services through the CGC’s testing program. Cannabis testing is a valuable public service that cannot be denied to cannabis consumers and the CGC will continue to take steps in order to preserve consumer safety and patient rights.