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Medical marijuana patients sue pharmacy for pesticide use

The marijuana industry’s pesticide problem has come to the fore after a lawsuit has been filed against a Colorado pharmacy.

Two marijuana users, including a cancer patient, filed a class action lawsuit last week against marijuana producer LivWell, who they allege used a dangerous pesticide that was not suitable for smoking, CNBC reports.

Lead prosecutors Brandan Flores and Brandie Larrabee have sued over the pesticide in question, Eagle 20, which can be harmful to humans when used on a product intended to be smoked and inhaled orally.

While commonly used to repel mites, mildew, and other pests from edible crops such as grapes and hops, Eagle 20 contains a chemical called myclobutanil that produces toxic hydrogen cyanide gas when heat is applied.

LivWell’s pesticide use was so concerning that on April 24, Denver City Officials took possession of approximately 60,000 plants produced by the company. However, the crops passed the residue tests and the Ministry of Environmental Health released the plants to be sold commercially.

The use of the specific pesticide is alarming for any type of use, but especially for Plaintiff Brandie Larrabee, who uses medicinal marijuana to relieve the symptoms of a brain tumor.

But for LivWell, the lawsuit is not a call for stricter regulation, but rather an attack on the industry.

“We believe that the people behind this effort do not want the commercial cannabis industry to succeed, and that LivWell was targeted because of its success,” Dean Heizer, LivWell’s Chief Legal Strategist, said in a prepared statement. “We care deeply about the health and safety of our customers and patients, and have no interest in compromising it.”

“The facts are that we have never used a banned substance in our cultivation. We adhere to the most current rules and regulations regarding product labeling and cultivation as set forth by our regulators, including the Marijuana Enforcement Division and the Colorado Department of Agriculture,” Heizer added. “We believe the Flores process is scientifically , is legally and factually frivolous, and we will defend it vigorously.”

The liability claim for cannabis products is the first of its kind in the US since the legalization of marijuana began in certain states.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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