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Oregon Recalls Cannabis Flower that Contains Arsenic

The product poses a risk to public health and safety and should not be sold or consumed.

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The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) is issuing a product recall for a batch of cannabis flower that tested positive for heavy metals (arsenic).

The OLCC is utilizing the state’s Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) to identify affected inventory and issue notices to retailers and other licensees to halt further distribution and sale. No sales have been made of this product since June 23, 2023. The product poses a risk to public health and safety and should not be sold or consumed.

The recall includes all sales of the product that used a “generic label” and therefore did not include any brand or item logos. Blueberry Muffin, which was harvested in December 2022, tested positive in January 2023 for arsenic.

These batches of cannabis flower were harvested before March 1, 2023. In this instance, the licensees complied with existing testing requirements. Under Oregon Health Authority (OHA) rules, cannabis products produced after March 1, 2023 are required to be tested for microbiological contaminants and heavy metals. While this licensee was in compliance with state testing requirements, OLCC is recalling the product based on audit testing done by the OLCC which indicates the presence of heavy metals (arsenic) at levels that pose a risk to public health and safety.

A recall is necessary to prevent further sale of contaminated products and to provide notice to consumers. Consumers should be aware that arsenic is carcinogenic and considered to cause a variety of diseases. Cannabis is efficient at absorbing and storing heavy metals and other pollutants found in soil and water, which increases the risk that marijuana users could ingest or inhale heavy metals. These metals can damage the kidneys and nervous system and increase the risk of some cancers. Consumers who purchased the recalled products are encouraged to destroy them. OLCC staff has worked directly with retailers to halt the sale of the contaminated products, and will continue to look into the matter.