Canadian government to start testing legal, illegal marijuana

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A new Canadian government initiative will see federal cannabis regulator Health Canada randomly buy and test legal cannabis products – as well as illegal marijuana sourced from law enforcement agencies – “for comparative analysis.”

Health Canada said its laboratory could test for THC and CBD levels, “specific analytes of interest,” and contaminants.

The new government testing and data collection program comes amid ongoing Canadian cannabis industry concern over THC inflation.

“The program will allow Health Canada to proactively collect information on the legal and illicit cannabis markets in Canada,” according to the regulator’s update.

Earlier this year, the CEO of a licensed cannabis testing laboratory spoke out against THC inflation after running his own tests on store-bought cannabis and finding that actual THC values were lower than the labeled amount.

Last week, the chief executive of Canadian cannabis producer Organigram Holdings also decried THC inflation.

On an earnings call, CEO Beena Goldenberg said THC inflation had become “more widespread in the last year.”

Health Canada said it will publish summary reports of its data analysis.

“These reports will make no reference to product, brand or license holder names,” the announcement said.

“The program will also support Health Canada’s efforts to ensure that legal cannabis products available on the Canadian market meet the requirements set out in the (Cannabis Act) and the regulations,” the announcement continued.

“If the program identifies deficiencies with legal products they analyze, we’ll take appropriate compliance and enforcement actions to mitigate health and safety risks if necessary.”