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Tainted Marijuana Health Alert Issued by Oregon Health Authority


On Friday, the Oregon Health Authority issued a "health alert regarding marijuana products that may have been tainted with high levels of a pesticide and sold to about 130 people in the McMinnville area."


The customers who purchased the tainted pot were both recreational and medical marijuana users, buying product from two specific tainted strain batches from a McMinnville, OR dispensary. 




The pesticide that this marijuana is tainted with is called spinosad, which has been shown in studies to cause developmental and reproductive effects in rats and rabbits when consumed in high doses. It is unknown however, what the effect is from smoking and inhaling spinosad. 


According to the Oregon Health Authority's alert, they take action if spinosad levels reach above .2 parts per million. In the case of the tainted Dr. Jack and Marion Berry strains, there were respective spinosad levels of 42 parts per million and 22 parts per million. 


New Leaf CannaCenter:


The pesticide-tainted marijuana mentioned in the alert was sold by the New Leaf CannaCenter on NE Riverside Drive in McMinnville, Oregon. According to New Lead CannaCenter's Leafly profile, the dispensary has a 4.5 star rating based on 93 reviews. None of Leafly reviews mention the tainted marijuana yet. 


There were two different strains mentioned in the alert: Dr. Jack and Marion Berry. In a statement from Greg Bogh, the owner of New Leaf, he said that "New Leaf CannaCenter is deeply troubled that it received product from a grower that did not meet the standards set by the Oregon Health Authority or the very high standards New Leaf always strives to maintain."


Who is the Grower?:


While we do know the dispensary that sold the tainted marijuana, we do not know who the grower of the tainted product is. According to the Oregon Health Authority release, "that information is confidential under Oregon law."


Bigger Question:


The bigger question is how did the tainted product get that far to begin with? The Oregon Health Authority is "investigating why the batches were transferred from the grower to the dispensary, and then sold by the dispensary to customers, as the products were transferred with failed test results." The alert mentions that per cannabis testing requirements, "if a marijuana item fails a pesticide test and a re-test, the batch from which samples were taken must be destroyed." This all begs the question... how did the tainted marijuana reach the shelves? 


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