Marijuana CEO calls for strict product testing in Canada

The CEO of one of Canada’s biggest medical marijuana cultivators wants to see the country’s public health department implement a strict system of product testing for cannabis companies after recent pesticide-related recalls.

Marijuana companies should foot the bill for the increased inspections and tests, said Vic Neufeld, CEO of Aphria Inc., adding that such systems are common in pharmaceutical sector, according to The Globe and Mail.

Neufeld’s call comes after two Canadian marijuana growers, OrganiGram and Mettrum Inc. (since acquired by Canopy Growth Corp.) were forced to recall cannabis because of pesticide contamination. Both companies now face proposed class-action lawsuits.

“I really want (Health Canada) to get more involved in the enforcement of testing. And I’m willing to pay whatever the cost is, multiplied by all the licensed producers, whatever the formula,” Neufeld told The Globe and Mail.

Neufeld’s comments follow an announcement from the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries last week that it would create its own testing standards and protocols.

The association, which claims to represent dispensaries that together serve about 150,000 patients, has already created a working group composed of dispensary owners, cultivators, processors and lab owners, according to a news release.

Dispensaries are not allowed to test their product through federally licensed laboratories, the news release said.