A rare fungal infection has killed a California man undergoing cancer treatment and his doctors say contaminated cannabis could have been the cause.
The treatment left the man’s immune system compromised, but his death still surprised doctors because he was relatively young and his cancer was expected to be treatable, according to CBS News.
The fungus that reportedly killed the man “was equivalent to what is on rodent droppings,” and the death could prove to be a canary in the coal mine for the fast-developing medical cannabis industry.
After the patient died, 20 other medical marijuana samples from across the state were tested for contamination, and the “vast majority” were tainted with “dangerous bacteria and fungi.”
In another recent test, six medical cannabis samples from dispensaries in the San Francisco area underwent tests for potentially dangerous pesticides and only one of them tested completely clean.
Several states have adopted lists of approved pesticides, and product recalls have become almost commonplace when contamination is detected.
And depending on how the investigation into his death plays out, it could signal the start of a new era of legal liability for cannabis businesses.