UPDATE: The Bend Cannabis Company released the following statement Monday after the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission issued a recall last week for a batch of cannabis flower that tested positive for arsenic.
The company notes that the recall was for a small amount of flower sold at one location in Bend. It also says there was no requirement for the product to be tested, but Bend Cannabis Company did so on their own and they are addressing the problem.
Here is the full statement from Bend Cannabis Company:
The OLCC has recently recalled our Blueberry Muffin strain of flower. Although we commend the OLCC on pursuing public safety, there were many details surrounding the recall that should be clarified. The recall was for approximately 1/3 of 1 pound of flower being sold at 1 retail location in Bend, Oregon. This product was grown organically only using water and organic soil. The soil used is commonly used in this industry and widely available at most local garden supply stores. The product tested and recalled was not required to be tested, however in the interest of being able to successfully implement the upcoming changes to testing requirements, we electively tested this product. The test results were 0.266 parts per million where the threshold in Oregon is 0.2 The threshold in Washington and Colorado for the same heavy metal test is 10 parts per million. Oregon’s limits on heavy metals are about 50 times more strict than these other states. We have addressed the issue and have worked with a new soil manufacture to insure heavy metals are not present in our flower or soil that is in production now. Thank you, Bend Cannabis Company
ORIGINAL STORY FROM JULY 13 BELOW:
The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission has issued a recall for a batch of cannabis flower, from a Bend-based producer, that has tested positive for arsenic.
The OLCC is advising the retailers and the public not to sell or consume a batch of Bend Cannabis Company’s Blueberry Muffin flower. No sales have been made since June 23.
Here are the specifics from OLCC:
The recall includes the strain and harvest identified below. All sales of the product used a “generic label” and therefore did not include any brand or item logos.
Produced by Bend Cannabis Company (license 020-1012499AA2A)
Harvested December 2022; Tested January 2023
These batches of cannabis flower were harvested before March 1, 2023. In this instance, the licensees complied with existing testing requirements. Under Oregon Health Authority (OHA) rules, cannabis products produced after March 1, 2023 are required to be tested for microbiological contaminants and heavy metals.
While this licensee was in compliance with state testing requirements, OLCC is recalling the product based on audit testing done by the OLCC which indicates the presence of heavy metals (arsenic) at levels that pose a risk to public health and safety. A recall is necessary to prevent further sale of contaminated products and to provide notice to consumers.
Consumers should be aware that arsenic is carcinogenic and considered to cause a variety of diseases. Cannabis is efficient at absorbing and storing heavy metals and other pollutants found in soil and water, which increases the risk that marijuana users could ingest or inhale heavy metals. These metals can damage the kidneys and nervous system and increase the risk of some cancers.
Consumers who purchased the recalled products are encouraged to destroy them. OLCC staff has worked directly with retailers to halt the sale of the contaminated products, and will continue to look into the matter.
Consumers with health-related concerns about a recalled product should contact the Oregon Poison Center at 800-222-1222, or their medical provider. Consumers who consumed this product may experience respiratory irritation. If consumers have other product related complaints related to this recall, they should notify the OLCC at email@example.com and include any information they have, including the consumer’s name and phone number, or alternative means of contact.