As Medical Marijuana Hits Mainstream, Regulators Take Notice With Safety Recalls

Posted 12 May 2014 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

In the US, states are increasingly squaring off against federal regulators in an attempt to grant their citizens access to medical marijuana, which advocates argue can provide pain relief to patients afflicted with cancer or other painful conditions.

But north of the US border, where medicinal marijuana is legal when authorized by a doctor or nurse practitioner, Canadian regulators are grappling with another marijuana issue entirely: The recall of medicinal marijuana due to bacterial contamination.

While the recall of a medical product is hardly unusual-Canadian regulators, as with their US counterparts, generally recall several products per day-the recall of medical marijuana is quite unusual. Health Canada's database of recalls indicates that only one other medicinal marijuana product has ever been recalled, also in 2014.

But unlike the other recall, which was for general manufacturing deficiencies, the latest recall notice is for something altogether far more serious.

In a 9 May 2014 posting, Health Canada indicated that medical marijuana processed by an Ontario-based manufacturer was contaminated with bacteria in quantities "outside of acceptable limits."

While neither the product's manufacturer nor Health Canada have received any adverse event reports regarding the affected marijuana, the product is being recalled and patients are urged to discontinue using it.

The recall notice, the second in a month, could be an indication that compliance with medical product manufacturing regulations could stand to be a bit, well, higher.


Health Canada Recall Notice


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