A cancer patient in California is dead, and doctors suspect contaminated medical marijuana may have been the cause in what could serve as a wake-up call for the state’s MMJ industry.
According to CBS Los Angeles, the man was using medical cannabis to ward off the side effects of traditional cancer treatments. The cancer treatment compromised the patient’s immune system, and he unexpectedly contracted a rare fungal infection that ultimately killed him.
The fungus that killed the patient “was equivalent to what is on rodent droppings,” CBS Los Angeles reported.
After the patient died, 20 MMJ samples from across California were tested for contamination, and the “vast majority” were tainted with “dangerous bacteria and fungi,” CBS Los Angeles reported.
In another recent test, six MMJ samples from dispensaries around the San Francisco Bay Area were tested for potentially dangerous pesticides, and only one tested clean, according to CBS San Francisco.
The death could prove a warning bell for the cannabis industry, which has struggled for years with a reputation for cutting corners when it comes to potentially dangerous cultivation practices.
Several states have adopted lists of approved nontoxic pesticides, and product recalls have become almost commonplace when contamination is detected.
And depending on how this death – and potentially others – play out, it could signal the start of a new era of legal liability for cannabis businesses.