Health Minister Jane Philpott has responded to media reports that her government had ignored reports of contaminants in dispensary cannabis.

The Globe & Mail has reported through the last week on documents obtained through an Access to Information request that showed the government was given lab testing results for Vancouver dispensary cannabis that showed   13 of 22 samples with some form of contaminate.

The test results were provided to Philpott’s office by representatives of licensed producer Tilray, who met with government officials last September.

“At that meeting, Tilray expressed concerns about illegal dispensaries and shared the results of lab work suggesting contamination of cannabis,” Philpott wrote. “I was not present at the meeting, but I am informed that as the meeting concluded, the CEO provided a photocopy of six pages of lab results to my staff. I have confirmed that a copy was also provided to Health Canada employees.”

Philpott said, if the data is valid, the results are unsurprising.

“I have stated repeatedly that storefront dispensaries are illegal, and products sold there are untested and should not be used,” she wrote. “Our government has issued numerous statements to warn the public that they should not be purchasing products from dispensaries, compassion clubs or other illegal organizations and individuals.

“…Canadians who require marijuana for medical purposes should only be accessing it through Health Canada’s Cannabis for Medical Purposes program.”

The statement prompted lawyer and cannabis rights advocate Kirk Tousaw to respond online, calling the statement an “obnoxious load of garbage.”

“Tilray doesn’t post its own lab testing. It isn’t transparent at all to its consumers. And it has the nerve to wave around some (likely cherry-picked and certainly small sample-sized) lab tests and whine about dispensaries,” Tousaw wrote. “Here’s an idea, Tilray. Grow great Cannabis and sell it at a good price while not making yourself look petty and stupid by constantly slamming the competition with nonsense.”

Tousaw questioned the accuracy of representing all non-LP grown cannabis with these tests, and that the hundreds of strains produced in the country weren’t included in the small sample of lab results.

“Dispensaries sell tens of thousands of individual batches of Cannabis each day. Six strains tested by Tilray (that they disclosed) represents less than a tenth of percent (yeah, I made that up and yeah, it’s probably less actually) of the market,” he wrote.

Tousaw said there hasn’t been any indication that dispensary cannabis has harmed the public or that cannabis has ever been a serious health issue.

“Since dispensary cannabis is grown as well or better now than all the cannabis the black market has produced for decades, where are the people that were harmed by that untested, “contaminated” cannabis,” he wrote.

  • CharleeR

    Kirk is 100% Correct! The ‘plan’ for Legalization HAS TO include dispensaries, as well. They are already established and if regulated, they could then be required to submit to testing. They want to, they just aren’t legally allowed to test right now…why?…..Because it is illegal. If Dispensaries are not included in the Legalization model…..it will just be another form of continuing Prohibition and the black market will continue to flourish.

  • Wizard6x9

    just remember, that one of the reasons why the Allard Injunction is
    still in effect is that the Supreme Court has mentioned that the
    dispensaries are a vital and viable alternative, that Licensed Producers
    cannot and have not produced both quantity and quality of Cannabis.
    This makes the legality of Dispensaries viable, and can be challenged,
    but only if the injunction is lifted, giving a reason to fight the
    government.

  • bob

    The guys from Tilray presenting hard evidence that contaminated Mj comes from he competition..i would like to see their evidentiary control system….

    bet it is a competent as their growing is..

    Tilray was tested by a 3rd party competent lab as per the rules set down at HC..and they failed not once not twice..but every time…of course some of the things that failed them were not required to test by Hc…

    Then somehow in their infinite wisdom Hc gave the right for them to conduct their own in-house testing..

    The most amazing thing occurred they became extremely competent growers and never failed another test…same as some others we shall leave unnamed…

    Though some of their product was returned by patients……

    anyway at least HC did not take them seriously

    This Company and all its associated ones are not good folks…..hahahaha understatement

  • http://rydermanagement.ca RyderMgt

    Health Canada shows the inventory of their approved LP’s AND that inventory has consistently increased since the inception of the MMPR. Those numbers indicate that the LP’s are stockpiling OR are having a difficult time turning their inventory over (selling it). The inventory figures shown by Health Canada indicates that the LP’s pot is up to a year old which means degraded THC!

    If the LP’s truly cared about their patients, they would provide a complete footprint of their strains showing more than just THC and CBD. The ratio of CBD to THC is NOT an accurate indication as to the medicinal value of the strain. This ratio of THC:CBD is something the United Nations determined as the best method for determining whether it was “drug type or fiber type” when the Single Convention on Drug Control came into being.

    It was an ignorant method then and is of no use for determining a medicinal strain today.