Diarrhea ain't dope: Canada needs to consider the food safety implications of edible cannabis

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Date: July-August 2017
From: Canadian Journal of Public Health(Vol. 108, Issue 4)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Letter to the editor
Length: 760 words
Lexile Measure: 1720L

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Dear Editor:

As Canada pursues legalization of cannabis, the issue of food safety related to edible cannabis products has received little attention. In Europe and the United States, the cannabis industry has already experienced a number of outbreaks and product recalls linked to food-borne pathogens, moulds, unsanitary conditions, temperature abuse, and the presence of pesticides in edible cannabis products (hereafter, "edibles"). (1,2) The addition of edibles to the Canadian market will inevitably exacerbate the already significant health (3) and economic (4) burden of food-borne disease in the Canadian population.

There are a number of questions currently unanswered in relation to edibles, namely: will edibles be classified as food or medicine?; who will be permitted to make edibles?; can they be made in the same facilities as other food items?; what are the labelling requirements for edibles?; and, who will oversee the safe production and sale of edibles? In California, edibles are classified as neither food nor medicine, allowing them to fall through legislative cracks into an unregulated abyss. (5) The Canadian government is set to legalize marijuana production, sale and possession, leaving provinces responsible for setting distribution regulations. (2) Considering...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A514724799