Medical marijuana patients sue dispensary over pesticide use
The marijuana industry’s pesticide problem has come to the forefront now that a lawsuit has been filed against a Colorado dispensary.
Two marijuana users, including a cancer patient, filed a class action lawsuit last week against marijuana producer LivWell, which they claim used a dangerous pesticide unfit for being smoked, CNBC reports.
Lead plaintiffs Brandan Flores and Brandie Larrabee filed the suit due to the pesticide in question, Eagle 20, which could be harmful to humans when used on a product meant to be smoked and inhaled orally.
While it is often 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 has been such a concern that on April 24, Denver City Officials placed a hold on about 60,000 plants produced by the company. The crops ended up passing residue tests, however, and the Department of Environmental Health released the plants to be sold commercially.
The use of the particular pesticide is alarming for any type of use, but especially for plaintiff Brandie Larrabee, who uses medical marijuana to ease symptoms due to a brain tumor.
But for LivWell, however, the suit isn’t a call for stricter regulations, 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,” said Dean Heizer, LivWell’s Chief Legal Strategist,in a prepared statement. “We value the health and safety of our customers and patients, and have no interest in compromising on that.”
“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 litigation is scientifically, legally and factually frivolous, and we will defend it vigorously.”
The cannabis product liability claim is the first of its kind in the U.S. since the legalization of marijuana began in certain states.
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