Saskatoon medical marijuana producer gets clean bill of health after voluntarily submitting pot for testing

An independent lab in British Columbia says medical marijuana from CanniMed Therapeutics in Saskatoon is free of 56 known pesticides and fungicides.

CanniMed commissions 3rd-party analysis as Health Canada moves to random testing

CanniMed began growing medical pot in 2000 as Prairie Plant Systems. (CBC)

A Saskatoon medical marijuana company says its products have been given a clean bill of health after undergoing voluntary testing.

Last month, CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. commissioned a B.C. company to do third-party testing of its plant and oil products for dozens of pesticides and fungicides.

President Brent Zettl said even though the company was confident it doesn't have any of those elements in its products, "let's just check and make sure. Let's put our stuff through the batteries and see."

He added: "We could have put up our hand a long time ago and say, 'Hey, we don't use them,' but it sort of rings hollow unless you have evidence from someone who is a third party, so that's why we did what we did."

Random testing

Ottawa announced it would start doing random testing for banned pesticides after product recalls last year from medical marijuana companies in Ontario and New Brunswick.

There are 38 companies producing medical marijuana in Canada today.

Zettl said that quality control levels vary, and he's not surprised that the banned pesticides turned up in some samples.

At the same time, he said there's too much at stake in terms of physician and patient confidence to adopt anything less than the most rigorous quality control standards.

Zettl noted that some people use medical marijuana for anxiety, "and the last thing they need to do is start worrying about their product, right?"