Outbreak by Organigram

Laws passed in New Brunswick after Organigram outbreak

Sixteen people fell seriously ill with a severe form of pneumonia in 2019 and one man died. New Brunswick Health shelved any response to the outbreak caused by Organigram for months before laws finally passed.

An Outbreak Caused by Organigram Cooling Facility

In the beginning, the Health Ministry disregarded Organigram’s infectious cloud. The bacteria that did spread across Moncton, New Brunswick originated from a cooling tower atop a new section of the licensed cannabis producer’s warehouse. The tower contains a fan and water, which grew excessive quantities of Legionella bacteria — external of the facility.

And while OGI admitted to fault one-a-half years later, in December of 2020 — Legionella tests had yet to be mandated. Responding to international criticisms in September 2021, though, New Brunswick’s Minister of Health, Dorothy Shephard announced that mandatory testing would be put into force by this Spring.

One correspondence and two new laws

Mandates were first announced this Spring — eight days after Minister Shephard replied to thank this author for an email. Cited in the correspondence was a recent peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Association. (1) Unrelated to Legionella, the email documented a potential link between research pursued by OGI and a separate epidemic that NB Public Health spent two years investigating.

Unusual neurological ailments occurred across New Brunswick from 2019 to 2021. Causing a false alarm, the cases were misdiagnosed as a single unknown disease. Albeit no proof has been released, the potential link sent to Minister Shephard correlated research pursued by OGI with a hypothetical Alzheimer’s Disease outbreak. And according to autopsies, most of the unusual neurological cases included known ailments such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

Outbreak by Organigram
Some cases identified in New Brunswick between 2019 to 2021 were considered simple misdiagnoses in the final report. The location of OGI, a Moncton-based producer, is highlighted in red.

Bill 104

Separately, an additional amendment to the Public Health Act in New Brunswick was introduced on May 10 this year. Covering emergencies beyond just the Organigram outbreak, the law under Bill 104 passed the third reading on June 2, 2022.

During the pandemic, mandates had to be placed on individuals rather than buildings or businesses. A virtue for gym owners providing a haven from mask restrictions. At the same, negligent companies responsible for outbreaks were given a curtain of protection. New revisions to the act under Bill 104, therefore, intend to rip down that curtain. Now, powers previously only granted under the Emergency Act can be used by the Health Minister during any serious health emergency.

Public Health Officers will be allowed to force specific businesses or buildings to follow mandates — or shut down — in the event of a future unsolved outbreak. And while Covid-19 outbreaks are covered, the new revisions are generalized for any public health emergency. Interestingly, Bill 104 can be used if Legionnaire’s or an unsolved neurological disease continues to spread throughout the province, for example.

Let us know in the comments what you think caused the neurodegenerative diseases. And don’t forget to read more about the potential link between Organigam and an Alzheimer’s Disease outbreak.

Show your work

  • Tau proteins, which are tran-seeded by prions found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, only aggregate Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Accumlation of tau in genetically predisposed individuals leads to Alzheimer’s onset after approximately six years. (3)
  • Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia, also noted in GNB’s final report, are caused by different proteins, such as beta-amyloid and alpha-synuclein.
  • Yeast can be genetically engineered to produce both proteins for researching neurodegenerative diseases and cell death. (4) This induces cytotoxicity, although to use this yeast model as a control in the R&D phase of cannabinoid production would be unorthodox.


  1. Flach, M., Leu, C., Martinisi, A., Skachokova, Z., Frank, S., Tolnay, M., Stahlberg, H., & Winkler, D. T. (2022). Trans-seeding of Alzheimer-related tau protein by a yeast prion. Alzheimer’s & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, 10.1002/alz.12581. Advance online publication.
  2. Communication with The Honourable Dorothy Shephard. March 21, 2022.
  3. Guzmán-Vélez E, Diez I, Schoemaker D, et al. Amyloid-β and tau pathologies relate to distinctive brain dysconnectomics in preclinical autosomal-dominant Alzheimer’s disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022;119(15):e2113641119. doi:10.1073/pnas.2113641119
  4. Sampaio-Marques B, Felgueiras C, Silva A, et al. SNCA (α-synuclein)-induced toxicity in yeast cells is dependent on sirtuin 2 (Sir2)-mediated mitophagy. Autophagy. 2012;8(10):1494-1509. doi:10.4161/auto.21275