Quebec National Institute of Public Health Confirms that
Health Canada Cannabis Below 6% THC; CSA Proposes a Moratorium on Research and Distribution
June 18, 2004: On June 11th, Canadians for Safe Access received the results of 2 THC tests performed by the Quebec National Institute of Public Health on the Health Canada cannabis being cultivated by Prairie Plant Systems in Flin Flon Manitoba. Both tests show that this product is almost exactly 5%THC, and nowhere near the 10.2%THC marked on the package and claimed by Health Canada and Prairie Plant Systems.
In September of 2003, Canadians for Safe Access first released independent THC test results of the Health Canada cannabis. These tests revealed that although Health Canada labeled the product 10.2%THC, it was well below 6%THC. Health Canada denounced these test results, suggesting that since they came from an unidentified independent lab, they could not be verified.
Health Canada has continued to make independent testing of this cannabis product nearly impossible, with Beth Pieterson (Director General - Drug Strategy and Controlled Substances Program) stating on April 13th that "in order for a laboratory to be able to legally test marihuana for consumers, it must be specifically licensed to do so. Currently there are no laboratories in Canada which are licensed to test marihuana for consumers."
This May CSA learned that nearly 30% of legal users who ordered cannabis from the government were so dissatisfied that they actually sent it back to Health Canada (http://safeaccess.ca/pr/csapr14.htm). With consistent evidence that this product is of poor quality and half the strength claimed by Health Canada, CSA suggests an immediate moratorium on the distribution of this cannabis - to either research facilities or to legal users - pending further investigation. CSA also proposes that exemptees withhold payment of this product and be reimbursed for any cannabis purchased so far.
The independent testing of all medicines and foods in Canada is a basic right of the end-users of these products. In April MP Libby Davies wrote to Health Canada in support of independent testing, stating ..."the suggestion being made, by denying access to an independent test, is that legal cannabis users do not have the same rights as other consumers to access independent testing of their medication". It's time for Health Canada to stop toying with the health of our nation's critically and chronically ill, and for all Canadians to get an explanation for this poor quality, potentially dangerous cannabis.