Canada has recently legalised cannabis for its production, sale and usage in various ways viz. medicinal, recreational and edible. The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) suggests that the microbial and chemical contaminants of fresh or dried marihuana or cannabis must be as per Schedule B of the Food and Drugs Act. It prescribes the testing for total aerobic count (TAC), yeast and mould count (YMC), Salmonella counts, Escherichia coli counts and total coliforms. The recent study revealed that there are 13 endophytic bacterial isolates and 30 endophytic fungal isolates which are harboured by cannabis. Though all phytopathogens may not infect humans, except perhaps immunocompromised individuals; it is obvious that present microbiological testing may not be enough to detect the plethora of microorganisms. Also, the testing for viruses like hepatitis A and hepatitis B are not provisioned by regulation though there are reports of their outbreaks and there is no provision for testing bacteria like Clostridium botulinum and Listeria monocytogenes. The present traditional culture-based testing methods may not be adequate in identifying food safety risks.
Sudhakar Bhandare. (2020). The microbiological testing regulations for cannabis products in Canada: Are they enough from food safety and public health point of view?. Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment, 18(2), 42-44. https://doi.org/10.1234/4.2020.5672