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Some not so kind results for unregulated BC bud

The British Columbia government is warning consumers that illicit cannabis could contain a number of contaminants after testing 20 dry flower samples seized from several unregulated stores in Vancouver, reports CBC.

What they found

Twenty dried flower samples sourced from six dispensaries in Vancouver were lab-tested by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health. 

Last Wednesday, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnsworth announced the results at a press conference, saying that 18 of the 20 samples contained at least one of 24 pesticides and concerning levels of heavy metals, bacteria and fungi [see the full report here]. Just three of them would pass Health Canada’s criteria for sale.

Illicit shops tough to compete with in B.C.

While Stats Canada says that the illicit market is shrinking nationally, that may not be the case in B.C. A long legacy market and advocacy history combined with skepticism toward heavily packaged and corporate-owned cannabis means many consumers refuse to ever buy legal weed. Policing doesn’t appear to be helping, and calling for more of it is perceived poorly by the community.

“Vancouver seems to be something of a stronghold for these unregulated operators,” Jaclynn Pehota, executive director of the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers, told the Vancouver Sun in January.

Will it work?

It will be interesting to see if consumers are compelled by the lab results. In addition to government regulators, a number of legal retailers and cultivators from across the country shared the report on social media in an effort to win consumers over.

“Tell me again about your plug and the great prices and quality,” tweeted Saskatchewan’s North 40 Cannabis. “I’ve been shouting this out for awhile now, seen it with my own two eyes.”

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