The cannabis regulators at the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) announced a product recall of Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Blend Pre-rolls following a failed pesticide test. While this announcement may be seized upon by Reefer Madness prohibitionists to scare people about cannabis, the recall actually shows that legalization works and is a much better and safer policy than prohibition. Prohibitionists have been demonizing cannabis since they learned about cannabis, so they aren’t going to stop now. However, forcing people into an illegal, unregulated market makes our communities more dangerous.
Without legalization and regulations, consumers don’t know if their cannabis products are tainted with potentially harmful substances. While cannabis, even when unregulated, has proven to be much safer than more addictive drugs, there are certainly health concerns that need to be addressed, especially for those with compromised immune systems. If you run into anyone that claims that product recalls show that cannabis is dangerous and that we shouldn’t end prohibition from coast to coast, you can explain to them that such recalls show that legalization is working and that transparency on an open market is much safer than pushing people into an illicit, unregulated market without any testing regulations.
Here’s the full OLCC’s product recall notice:
January 16, 2020
OLCC Issues Marijuana Product Recall
Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Blend Pre-rolls Failed Pesticide Test
Portland, OR — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is issuing an immediate health and safety advisory due to the identification of potentially unsafe pesticide residue on plant material used in a packaged retail marijuana product. The product in question was cultivated by licensed marijuana producer Ard Ri and packaged for sale to retailers by licensed wholesaler DYME Distribution.
The affected marijuana flower failed its pesticide test, because it exceeded the acceptable level, known as the “action limit”, for the insecticide Imidacloprid*. The flower was incorporated into pre-rolled joints marketed under the Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Blend; the strain name is Trap Star.
The impacted product (see above images) has a Unique Identification (UID) number of 1A4010300022859000015892.
The OLCC has locked down the product in the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) to prevent further distribution or sale to consumers. The product was sold through nine OLCC licensed marijuana retailers around Oregon. DYME distributed approximately 700 units of the contaminated pre-rolls; retailers have pulled the remaining 328 packages from their shelves.
The impacted Winberry Farms Sweet Leaf Products were sold from December 17, 2019 through January 8, 2020 at the following licensed retailers:
- Spark, 5103 NE Fremont Street, Portland
- Ancient Remedies, 2350 State Street, Salem
- Puff Oregon, 47700 NW Sunset Highway, Manning
- Rogue River Herbal PMC, 510 East Main, Suite C, Rogue River
- The Joint, 3270 Market Street NE, Salem
- Stoney Only Clackamas, 10289 SE Highway 212, Clackamas
- Tsunami Marijuana LLC, 36412 Highway 26, Seaside
- Track Town Collective, 3675 Franklin Blvd., Eugene
- Green Room, 2521 NW 9th Street, Corvallis
Initial test results for the source marijuana flower produced by Ard Ri was entered into CTS by PREE Laboratories in Corvallis on December 4, 2019; the test results indicated that both test samples failed. PREE re-analyzed one of the samples, as allowed under marijuana testing rules, on December 11, 2019 and the sample passed. However marijuana testing rules then require a second lab to re-sample and re-test the original product. That verification test never took place.
Because of PREE Laboratories’ incorrect entry of test results into CTS the tracking system designated the marijuana flower as having passed its pesticide test. Subsequently DYME Distribution packaged and distributed the contaminated marijuana as pre-rolled joints.
The OLCC detected the discrepancy January 6, 2020 when conducting a monthly audit on products that have failed pesticide tests at the point of origin – in this case the marijuana flower. When the OLCC initiates an administrative hold of a product it automatically puts a hold on any product produced from the original flower.
OLCC is investigating both the contamination test failure, and the licensees’ use of CTS.
Consumers who have these recalled products should dispose of the products or return them to the retailer where they were purchased. Consumers can follow these instructions found on the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Program website to destroy marijuana on their own.
There have been no reports of illness. The possible health impact of consuming marijuana products with unapproved pesticide residues is unknown. Short and long-term health impacts may exist depending on the specific product, duration, frequency, level of exposure, and route of exposure. Consumers with concerns about their personal health should contact their physician with related questions. Consumers with questions or concerns about recalled product or pesticide residues in marijuana products are encouraged to contact the product retailer and/or the Oregon Poison Center at 800-222-1222.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture maintains a guide list for Pesticides and Cannabis that be found here.
*The Oregon Health Authority is responsible for establishing pesticide and solvent action levels for marijuana testing.