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Strong Lab Standards for Medical Cannabis in Germany


I remember the first time someone mentioned that one of the problems with prohibition is that you didn’t know what you were getting. Whatever it was, it was probably from Mexico, where some farmers still use dangerous pesticides that have been made illegal in the United States. I got a chill thinking about all of the terrible things people must be smoking along with their cannabis.

So we asked for legalization, and we asked for health and safety standards for cannabis consumers. Now, with the widespread recognition that cannabis is a life-saving medicine and the introduction of cannabis into government-run healthcare systems, cannabis now must meet the criteria of a pharmaceutical – at least in places like Germany, where the health insurance covers cannabis’ costs and pharmacies are the dispensers.

Inevitably, as Germany’s medical cannabis program enters its infancy, testing is playing the role it is meant to play. Pohl-Boskamp, one of the pharmaceutical groups which distributes cannabis in Germany, issued its first voluntary withdrawal on some of its cannabis products. Specifically, products originating from a company called Peace Naturals, a Cronos group based in Ontario, Canada. While not the same as an actual recall, the move is a nod to the newer, stricter standards companies are applying to the medicine.

From the good folks at Leafly:

“Pohl-Boskamp executive Thomas Höppner said in a statement that ‘the withdrawn batch (approximately 1 kilogram) was [originally] released for sale because it passed third-party testing. In a retest, there was a discrepancy between the results so the product was withdrawn as a precaution in Germany.’

“…In an interview with Leafly, Cronos CEO Gorenstein said Pohl-Boskamp has been testing imported batches of medical cannabis every month to check for any product degradation in the export process. (The leaf cannabis is produced by Peace Naturals and tested by SGS, a third-party commercial lab in Canada, then shipped to Germany in sealed containers.)

“According to Cronos, in the course of testing a specific one-kilogram batch, the German lab turned up different microbial levels than the Canadian lab found. That spurred Pohl-Boskamp to ask pharmacies to voluntarily return bottles from that specific batch.”

In the meantime, the company is retesting the products and seemingly, do its due diligence for consumers. While the rigors of testing have plagued many a cannabis farmer entering various legal markets, this is a win for public safety, and one of the most important reasons we have to end prohibition.

Find out what’s happening with standards for cannabis producers in Canada, Germany, and beyond! Come be part of the world’s biggest and best international cannabis B2B event, International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin, Germany on April 11-13, and then again in Vancouver, BC, Canada on June 24-25! Tickets are on sale now!

Cronos group, Peace Naturals, Pohl-Boskamp, Thomas Höppner