Canadian grower switches CEOs after tainted MMJ recall

A major Canadian medical marijuana cultivation company changed CEOs, two days after announcing it could not find the source of the pesticide contamination that forced it to recall tainted cannabis and revamp its operating procedures.

It’s the second case of CEO turnover at a Canadian MMJ grower linked to contaminated medical cannabis.

OrganiGram, a federally licensed grower based in Moncton, New Brunswick, announced this week that Denis Arsenault would be replaced as CEO by former Tilray chief Greg Engel, the Globe and Mail reported.

Engel will take the reins March 13. Arsenault will become executive chairman of OrganiGram’s board of directors, a move he said has been in the works for a while.

Earlier, Canopy Growth Corp. did not retain Michael Haines as CEO of Mettrum Health, a federally licensed cultivator the company bought in 2016. Mettrum, based in Bowmanville, Ontario, also recently recalled marijuana because of pesticide contamination the Globe and Mail reported.

Mettrum and OrganiGram found the banned pesticide myclobutanil in their cannabis products. Myclobutanil produces hydrogen cyanide when burned in products like cannabis and tobacco.

OrganiGram, for its part, also said it would offer full credit to uninsured patients who purchased contaminated cannabis. The credit plan is contrary to previous reports that the company would offer full refunds to all patients affected by the tainted marijuana.

The company estimates the credits will total roughly 2.3 million Canadian dollars ($1.7 million). The credits will be included in OrganiGram’s second-quarter report that’s expected to be released in April, the company said.