Feb. 10, 2017
Recently, two licensed producers of cannabis for medical purposes undertook voluntary recalls of cannabis products that contained low levels of prohibited pest control products (myclobutanil/bifenazate/pyrethrins). Under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), licensed producers are permitted to use only the 13 pest control products that are currently approved for use on cannabis under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA).
In response to these events, Health Canada announced that it will begin conducting random testing of medical cannabis products produced by licensed producers, to provide added assurance to Canadians that they are receiving safe, quality-controlled product. Health Canada will test these products to ensure that only authorized pest control products are used during the production of medical cannabis.
When any health and safety issue is found with a medical cannabis product, the first priority for Health Canada and the licensed producer is to protect the health and safety of clients by ensuring that they are informed and that the affected product is recalled. Following a recall, an investigation is carried out, and corrective actions are taken. This process was followed in both recalls mentioned above.
Health Canada is satisfied with the outreach to affected clients by the licenced producers. Corrective actions have been implemented by both companies, including an expanded testing regime that covers myclobutanil and other pest control products.
The Department will be providing additional compliance education and information to licensed producers to support their efforts to strengthen controls and safeguards to reduce the risk of the use of unauthorized pest control products. This will include communicating with all licensed producers to remind them of their obligations under the ACMPR and the PCPA.
The expanded product testing program will further enhance the Department's existing regime of regular unannounced inspections of licensed producer facilities, as well as the controls in place by licensed producers. Health Canada is committed to continuously improving on safety practices even though existing programs demonstrate effectiveness in identifying issues of non-compliance.
Health Canada remains committed to working closely with the 38 licensed producers to ensure that Canadians can have full confidence in their source of safe, quality-controlled cannabis for medical purposes.