Cannabis recall for mislabeled MedReleaf products in Quebec

Published Apr 10, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Christian Ouellet

It seems like every other week, we hear about a new cannabis recall, which might seem a bit daunting at first, but it is important to know that these decisions are always made with the consumer's best interest at heart. However, it is good to be aware of when these recalls happen and to pay attention to the reasoning behind them, which is why we cover all of the current incidents, complete with the vital information that you need to make informed decisions and purchases going forward.

Who is MedReleaf Corp?

MedReleaf is a subsidiary of Aurora Cannabis and a licensed Canadian producer who cultivates and packages products to be sold across the country. This cannabis company is most popular for its reputation as a fearless leader in innovation and research that actively works to evolve the entire industry through science. Their focus is medical-grade cannabis, but their goods are sold at select recreational dispensaries all over Canada.

The cause of the Health Canada recall

Though MedReleaf is certainly one of the largest, most successful and well trusted Canadian companies in the business, to err is human, and it happens sometimes. In this case, the only impacted product was sold in Quebec through SQDC between March 26th and 27th. The cause of this decision was a discrepancy in the amount of THC that was in the products, as the contents within measured slightly lower than the label implied it should be.

What was recalled

The product in question is Island Sweet Skunk cannabis buds, which were sold in 3.5-gram containers, and included two lot numbers:

  • 7026 2631 5004 8771
  • 7691 4952 1817 9946

There was a total of 53 units that were sold to the public between the dates mentioned above, and all of them were stick from SDQC in Quebec.

Did anyone react adversely?

Health Canada has released along with the recall a statement that says that so far, no one has reported any kind of adverse effects from the mislabeled weed, and with the discrepancy being so small, that really shouldn’t come as a surprise. In this case, the recall was for the purposes of transparency, as it has nothing to do with the safety of the product in question, so if you have already smoked some, don’t fret, as you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Why are cannabis product-recalls so common?

The problem with cannabis plants is that they aren’t precise, and there are so many different types out there that it is impossible to predict exactly how a crop will turn out, even if you take all of the steps that you can think of to maintain consistent care, seed quality, and genetics. You could buy seeds from the same producer, take care to plant them all the same, and feed them all equally, and in the end, one of your plants could be super potent while the next might be less than exciting.

This makes it necessary to conduct thorough product batch tests in order to maintain a consistent and reliable cannabinoid measurement that consumers can rely on. These checks are done regularly, and they are precisely why this small mishap was caught relatively early in the game. Unfortunately, since this isn’t an exact science, it isn’t uncommon to hear of a lot or two at a time being recalled, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to worry about the quality coming from the afflicted producers.

Is a slight discrepancy in THC content really worth a recall?

Not too long ago, it was not uncommon for consumers to purchase most of their cannabis from legacy market dealers who didn’t advertise a specific THC or CBD amount, so to most, this minor discrepancy is absolutely no problem at all. This is true for the majority of consumers, but there are a rare few who require this precise measurement to control the strength of their therapy.

Regardless of whether or not such a small difference between labels and contents matters to you, it is important for this brand new industry to build up the confidence of the public, and to do that, they need to remain transparent even if it means enduring a few negative headlines, and a small financial loss in order to make it right. This is a good sign for consumers, and one of the many perks of a legal and regulated market.

Cannabis recalls and returns are costing producers millions

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