March 24, 2015
Everybody Must Get Stoned: Medical Marijuana Recall In British Columbia

Three strains of medical marijuana cultivated by licensed producer Tilray, based out of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, have been voluntarily recalled due to higher levels of bacteria than is considered acceptable by Health Canada, the company announced in a press release on March 20.

The strains being recalled -- Hybrid House Blend, Indica House Blend, and Sativa House Blend -- were sold between the dates of March 3 and March 18 to a limited number of medical marijuana patients, and thus far, the company has reported no adverse side effects or complaints related to the use of any of these products.

Though all of Tilray's products are put through extensive testing prior to their sale, the company says that the higher than normal bacteria content was caught during routine testing by Health Canada.

"The lots are being recalled due to microbial levels outside of acceptable limits found in a sample taken during a routine inspection by Health Canada. Every product lot Tilray sells undergoes rigorous independent third-party testing prior to being released for sale. When tested prior to being released for sale, these product lots did not show any indication of having microbial levels outside of acceptable limits."
Josh Eades, Tilray's Chief Science Officer, has said that the company has contacted all patients who purchased any of the three affected marijuana strains between the dates listed, but believes that due to the methods typically used to ingest the medical marijuana -- combusted, baked, or cooked in high heat -- there is little possibility for the survival of the bacteria.

The bacteria present in the three strains is enterobacter, which, although not associated with any acute health risks, can cause infections, mainly to the urinary and respiratory tracts. It is as yet unknown where the bacteria originated from, though the company insists that they are undertaking all measures possible to to figure out how their medical marijuana strains came into contact with it.

"We are undergoing a top-to-bottom, rigorous review of our sanitation practices and procedures, and we'll be doing a root-cause analysis to understand what caused these results."
Eades also provided consumers with the proper method of disposing of the product at home, should they wish to: add water to the marijuana, mix it with cat litter, and then dispose of it in the household garbage. Should clients prefer to return the product, however, they have been asked to contact Tilray directly.

Each of the 300 to 400 people that have been affected by the voluntary recall of the three strains of medical marijuana will be given credit for replacement costs.

[Image Credit: The Daily Chronic]