Oregon Health Authority issues ‘Health Alert’ for Tainted Marijuana

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on October 26, 2016.

Oregon late Friday issued its first ‘health alert’ for marijuana products tainted with high levels of pesticide and sold to about 130 people in southwest of Portland by a medical marijuana dispensary called New Leaf in McMinnville, according to a release from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

The marijuana products were sold to medical and recreational marijuana customers between Oct. 17 and Oct. 19. The alert is concerning dried flower marijuana that New Leaf, sold under the strain names Dr. Jack, batch number G6J0051-02, and Marion Berry, batch number G6J0051-01.

Lab testing found the products were contaminated with high levels of a chemical known as spinosad, a common insecticide used in the marijuana industry. According to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at Oregon State University, spinosad is a natural substance made by a soil bacterium that can be toxic to insects.

The health authority has alerted that anyone who visited the dispensary during the said time period  to check the label of the product they purchased and immediately return the tainted product to the McMinnville medical marijuana dispensary, or dispose of it in a safe and responsible manner.

According to the new rules of the state, marijuana testing labs must alert the health authority when products fail to meet state pesticide norms and value.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will be in charge from now on with observing anything that happens in the testing labs. Rob Patridge, the chairman of the commission, said, “We will be double checking our rules to ensure we can properly protect the public.”

The use of pesticides is a widely-spread issue that took its toll on marijuana production over the past few years. Pesticides are used by producers to deal with mites and mold, the most often encountered issues in marijuana products. 

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