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Nov-03-2016 23:00printcomments

Pesticide-Tainted Cannabis Sold at North Bend, Salem, Eugene Dispensaries

According to the OHA, the products were transferred with failed test results.

pesticide alert

(SALEM, Ore.) - Two strains of cannabis (marijuana) flower that contained the pesticide piperonyl butoxide at levels exceeding regulations were sold at Stonies in North Bend, and at Green-Way Medicinal in Salem.

According to Oregon Medical Marijuana Program officials, the strains were sold under the names Pleeze and Dryzl.

A third problematic strain was sold in Eugene. The dispensary Flowr of Lyfe sold one strain that contained the pesticide spinosad at levels exceeding regulations. The strain was sold under the name Dutch Treat.

Sales of these pesticide-tainted strains occurred at Stonies between Oct. 16 and Oct. 25 to about 250 customers. Green-Way Medicinal sold the strains between Oct. 15 and Oct. 23 to about 90 customers; most were recreational marijuana customers.

OHA requires that all cannabis products be tested for pesticides, and that a batch is considered to have failed pesticide testing if a laboratory detects the presence of a pesticide above action levels listed on the state's list of pesticide analytes and their action levels (see: ORpesticideTables).

The OHA "action level" for piperonyl butoxide is 2.0 parts per million (ppm); the affected batches of Pleeze and Dryzl contained about 8 times that amount: 15.39 ppm and 16.24 ppm, respectively.

Sales of the pesticide-tainted strain at Flowr of Lyfe occurred between Oct. 15 and Oct. 26 to about 30 mostly recreational customers. The OHA "action level" for spinosad is 0.2 ppm; the affected batch of Dutch Treat contained 0.90 ppm.

How could this happen?

Though it is mandated that all cannabis be tested, it is unknown at this time why the batches were transferred from the grower to the dispensary, and then sold by the dispensary to customers, at all.

According to the OHA, the products were transferred with failed test results. It is against state law to transfer marijuana products known to contain levels of pesticide exceeding action levels.

All tests were performed by an OHA-accredited and Oregon Liquor Control Commission-licensed laboratory, which have as yet not been named.

By law, if a cannabis item fails a pesticide test and a re-test, the batch from which samples were taken must be destroyed.

The investigation is underway, and more will be revealed with time. OHA is not publicly identifying the growers involved because that information is confidential under Oregon law.

What should customers do now?

Any customers who purchased these products at the dispensaries during the reported sale periods should check the label of the products they purchased and immediately return any of the tainted products to the dispensaries, or dispose of them in a safe and responsible manner, such as composting them.

Effects of smoking marijuana containing spinosad or piperonyl butoxide are not known.

Piperonyl butoxide is among a class of chemicals known as synergists that are used in a wide variety of pesticides, according to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at Oregon State University. Synergists are chemicals that lack pesticidal effects of their own, but enhance the pesticidal properties of other chemicals.

According to NPIC, spinosad is a natural substance made by a soil bacterium that can be toxic to insects. It is used to control such pests as thrips, leafminers, spider mites, mosquitoes, ants and fruit flies. NPIC also notes that spinosad is low in toxicity to people and other mammals, but it can cause irritation and redness if it gets on your skin or in your eyes.

If you are concerned about exposure to spinosad or piperonyl butoxide, or are experiencing health problems after using affected cannabis strains, contact the Oregon Poison Center at 800-222-1222.

Contact NPIC at 800-858-7378 or visit its web pages for more information on the affected chemicals:


Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Jimmy November 4, 2016 5:24 pm (Pacific time)

They lose their license, period.

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