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Canadian Medical Cannabis Producer Slapped with Class-Action Lawsuit

Canadian medical marijuana producer Organigram, having already replaced its CEO, now is the subject of a class-action lawsuit involving pesticide-contaminated cannabis.

A Halifax-based law firm alleged in its Friday filing that the lead plaintiff consumed Organigram’s MMJ products for almost a year before learning the cannabis could be contaminated with potentially toxic pesticides, the Montreal Gazette reported.

The firm also said in its suit that upwards of 2,000 Canadians may have purchased medical marijuana products containing either myclobutanil or bifenazate, pesticides that are not approved for use on cannabis.

Myclobutanil in particular is controversial throughout the cannabis industry. Popular among many marijuana growers because of its effectiveness in fighting powdery mildew, myclobutanil creates hydrogen cyanide when burned.

When burned, myclobutanil the hydrogen cyanide that is produced interferes with how oxygen is used in the body and can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

The Moncton company had its organic certification suspended in January and is now subject to federal spot checks.

Organigram voluntarily recalled tainted products in December and January, and Health Canada subsequently implemented random MMJ-testing procedures nationwide.

Despite an investigation, the Moncton, New Brunswick, company said it could not determine how its MMJ became contaminated with pesticides.

Organigram said in an emailed statement it was reviewing the claim's notice of action and expected to have a response within 24 hours.

Lawyer Ray Wagner said his firm has received hundreds of calls from Organigram consumers who are worried about the potential impact of pesticides on their health.

One of those consumers is Dawn Rae Downton, who has been named the proposed representative plaintiff in the lawsuit.

"They purchased something that was not what they had bargained for," Wagner said in an interview.

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