Threatening Labs Over Cannabis

When the Globe and Mail tested cannabis sold at a few Toronto dispensaries, and then wrote about it, they made a mistake.

When writing about the lab they used to test all this cannabis, they wrote, “As such, we cannot name the facility, and we cannot disclose its location, for fear that the federal government would sanction the lab and revoke its licence, despite performing a valuable public service.”

But how is that possible?

Isn’t the democratic federal government always working in the public’s interest?

How could a privately-owned company provide a “valuable public service?”

Don’t they know that governments follow best practice?

Of course, I’m kidding. Governments don’t hold a monopoly over language and it’s possible for Health Canada to work counter to what’s in the best interests of the people they claim to protect.

In fact, it happens all the time.

Also worth noting, the lab CLN used to test cannabis for the Smoke Show has been threatened by Health Canada and a number of LPs.

So there’s more to this than just minor disagreements or ineffective bureaucracy.

This is a drug war. There is a lot of money and power involved here. Don’t be so naive to think governments work for the public, especially when they go out of their way to remind you of it.

The fact is the Globe and Mail and the facility they used were providing a public service, one that should be more common, but isn’t, since the regulatory regime in this country protects the few at the expense of many.

If the government and government-protected producers didn’t threaten laboratories that tested cannabis, then this issue of quality assurance wouldn’t be on the radar.

There’s never been a better time to discredit government assertions that non-LP cannabis is unsafe and dangerous and poses a risk to the public.

If there is any danger, it comes from the government’s prosecution of labs that perform this valuable public service.

Meanwhile, the Globe found that Health Canada is using, “debatable testing methods, and may not be looking for the most dangerous contaminants, such as several controlled pesticides.”

And while some dispensary cannabis “displayed a total aerobic plate count (APC) that exceeded Health Canada limits by nearly 15 per cent,” microbiologists pointed out that many foods, such as raw leafy vegetables and dairy products, can carry high APC numbers without being harmful.

This goes to show how overbearing and onerous Health Canada’s regulations are.

And while one can make an argument that a medical regime should be held to higher standards, for recreational users, the “exhaustive and exacting” methods of the LPs are unnecessary.

Cannabis is a plant. The sooner its production, distribution and consumption are liberalized, the sooner a regime that reflects consumer values can be established.

There’s nothing the Liberals need to do other than remove cannabis from the criminal code and pardon all non-violent offenders.

If there is an issue of yeast, mould, and other harmful bacteria, then Health Canada and the LPs should stop threatening labs willing to test cannabis.

Legalization should rely more on the market for regulatory oversight than corrupt and inefficient government bureaucracies.