Health Canada Faces Quality Control Issues Under MMPR


Health Canada faces quality control issues in the delivery of product from companies operating under the MMPR (Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations). In a recent surprise move by the IIROC, Aphria a publicly traded company, was suspended from trading on March 31, 2015. Aphria trades on the TSX-Venture markets in Canada under the symbol APH.V. The halt resulted from what the IIROC described as, “Pending Clarification of News”. A press release from the company on March 25, 2015 stated, “With this amendment to our license we are currently the only company positioned to sell medical marijuana to other licensed producers in Canada.”

The company on March 31, 2015 after being halted by the IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada) issued a retraction on their statement from March 25, 2015. In the press release dated March 31, 2015 the company retracted the statement which implied that the company was the only Canadian company positioned to sell marijuana to Canada’s MMPR licensed producers.

April 1, 2015, IIROC made the decision to resume regular trading on the TSX-Venture markets at 8:30 AM. The IIROC ensures that companies follow security laws including the proper release of information to the public.

Health Canada’s list of issues keeps growing with some of its licensed producers. In a recall issued on February 10, 2015 Health Canada warned the public and MMPR patients that another company, Tilray issued a voluntary recall of three of its marijuana products due to a positive bacterial test.

The list of products consisting of Sativa House Blend, Hybrid House Blend, and Indica House Blend all tested above any accepted bacterial levels. Health Canada regularly tests its licensed producers’ products according to Health Canada regulations to ensure ongoing industry compliance. Tilray’s clients and medical patients are instructed to immediately discontinue use of the contaminated lots of Marijuana.

Health Canada also recently faced another setback after Peace Naturals Project Inc. issued a voluntary recall on one of its products “Nyce N’ EZ. The problem occurred according to the recall notice when one of its marijuana products was labelled with the wrong level of THC potency. The recall states, “Health Canada inspectors determined this product was labelled with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of 9.07% with a product specification of +/- 2% of THC. However, when retested from a third party laboratory, the product demonstrated that the content of THC may be as high as 13.7%.”(Health Canada, February 10, 2015).

While Health Canada states that this incident is a relatively low risk to the public, the company instructed its clients to immediately discontinue the use of ANY of its marijuana from the batch the company sold to its medical patients.

Some recalls are to be expected, and companies who take a proactive approach in dealing with quality and safety concerns in their product to reduce the likelihood of occurrence will stand to gain by protecting their patients, although there is some concern throughout the industry that some licensed producers may not be taking the quality of their product seriously enough.


Edward Christoff


  • References:Aphria Successfully Amends License to Allow for Wholesale Shipping

  • Aphria Retracts Previously Issued Statement

  • IIROC Trading Resumption – APH

  • Recall of Marijuana for Medical Purposes – Tilray

  • Recall of Marijuana for Medical Purposes – Peace Naturals Project Inc.



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