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Cannabis Recalls: Lessons Learned After Three Years of Canadian Legalization

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Three years ago, Canada became one of the first countries in the world to legalize and regulate cannabis. We’ve covered various aspects of cannabis regulation since, but now with a few years of data readily available, it’s time to step back and assess: what can we learn from three years of cannabis recalls in the world’s largest legal market?

Labelling Errors are the Leading Cause of Canadian Cannabis Recalls

Our analysis of Health Canada’s data revealed a clear leader: most cannabis recalls since legalization in October 2018 have been due to labelling and packaging errors. In fact, over three quarters of total cannabis recalls were issued for this reason, covering more than 140,000 units of recalled product.

The most common source of labelling and packaging recalls in the cannabis industry (more than half) is inaccurate cannabinoid information. Peace Naturals Project‘s recall of Spinach Blue Dream dried cannabis pre-rolls this year is a good example. Not only did the packaging incorrectly read that the product contained CBD, but the THC quantity listed was lower than the actual amount of THC in the product. The recall covered over 13,000 units from a single lot sold over 10 weeks.

In another example, a minor error made a huge impact. British Columbia-based We Grow BC Ltd. experienced this firsthand when it misplaced the decimal points in its cannabinoid content. The recalled products displayed the total THC and CBD values as 20.50 mg/g and 0.06 mg/g, respectively, when the products contained 205.0 mg/g and 0.6 mg/g.

Accurate potency details are not just crucial for compliance. For many customers, potency is a deciding factor when selecting a cannabis product, and this is especially important for medicinal users (including children), people who are sensitive to certain cannabinoids and consumers looking for non-psychoactive effects. In this case, at least six consumer complaints were submitted to Peace Naturals Project, the highest number for any cannabis recall in Canada.

Frequent, integrated lab testing, an effective and robust traceability system, smaller lot sizes during production and consistent quality checks could have helped Peace Naturals Project and We Grow BC limit the scope of their recall or avoid them altogether.

Pathogens are the #2 Cause of Cannabis Recalls in Canada

Pathogens are the second most common cause of recalls in Canada, claiming 18% of total cannabis recall incidents. And while that doesn’t sound like much compared to the recalls caused by labelling errors, it affects the highest volume of product recalled with over 360,000 units affected.

Canadian Cannabis Recalls – Total number of affected units and noted causes

A primary cause of allergens and microbiological contamination of cannabis products is yeast, mold and bacteria found on cannabis flower (chemical contaminants like pesticides can also be a major concern). Companies like Atlas Growers, Natural MedCo and Agro-Greens Natural Products have all learned this lesson through costly recalls.

These allergenic contaminants pose an obvious health risk, often leading to reactions such as wheezing, sneezing and itchy eyes. For people using cannabis for medical conditions and may be more susceptible to illness, pathogens can cause more serious health complications. Moreover, this type of cannabis recall not only drives significant cost since microbiological contamination of flower could easily affect several product batches processed in the same facility and/or trigger downstream recalls, but also affect consumer confidence for established cannabis brands.

Preventive control plan requirements for cannabis manufacturers mandate that holders of a license for processing that produce edible cannabis or cannabis extracts in Canada must identify and analyze the biological, chemical and physical hazards that present a risk of contamination to the cannabis or anything that would be used as an ingredient in the production of the edible cannabis or cannabis extract. Biological hazards can come from a number of sources, including:

Incoming ingredients, including raw materials
Cross-contamination in the processing or storage environment
Employees
Cannabis extract, edible cannabis and ingredient contact surfaces
Air
Water
Insects and rodents

To mitigate risks, addressing root causes with preventative measures and controls is essential. For instance, high humidity levels and honeydew secreted by insects are common causes of mold on cannabis flowers. Measures such as leaving a reasonable distance between plants, using climate-controlled areas to dry flowers, applying antifungal agents and conducting regular tests are necessary to combat such incidents.

Preventative measures and controls can save a business from extremely costly recalls.

Of course, placing all the necessary controls into action is not as simple as it may sound. Multiple facilities and a wide range of products in production mean more complexity for cannabis producers and processors. Any gaps in processing flower, extracts or edibles can result in an uncontrolled safety hazard that may lead to a costly cannabis recall.

These challenges are not just limited to cannabis growers. The food industry has been effectively mitigating the risk of biological hazards for decades with the help of food ERP solutions.

Avoid Recalls Altogether with Advanced ERP Technology

An effective preventative control plan with regular quality checks, internal audits and standardized testing is important to minimize the threats evident from Canada’s recall data. If these measures ever fail, real-time traceability systems play a pivotal role in the event of a cannabis recall by enabling manufacturers to trace back incidents to the exact point of contamination and identify affected products with surgical precision.

Instead of starting from zero, savvy cannabis industry leaders turn to the proven solutions from the food industry and take advantage of data-driven, automated systems that deliver the reliability and safety that the growing industry needs. From automated label generation to integrated lab testing to quality checks to precision traceability and advanced reporting, production and quality control systems are keys to success for the years ahead.

The post Cannabis Recalls: Lessons Learned After Three Years of Canadian Legalization appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.

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European Gas Prices Soar After Moscow Imposes Sanctions on EU Energy Companies

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Russia’s state-owned gas supplier has said it will cut shipments to Europe through a major pipeline, sending prices surging and reinforcing President Vladimir Putin’s willingness to use energy as a weapon against the EU.

Gazprom said gas flows would no longer be possible through the Yamal pipeline after the Kremlin imposed sanctions late on Wednesday on European gas companies. The sanctioned companies include some of its own former units as well as Europol Gaz, Yamal’s owner. The pipeline runs from Russia to Germany via Poland.

“A ban on transactions and payments to entities under sanctions has been implemented,” said Gazprom in a statement. “For Gazprom this means a ban on the use of a gas pipeline owned by Europol Gaz to transport Russian gas through Poland.”

The move strikes out the flow of Russian gas to Europe from a second pipeline in as many days and underlines Moscow’s appetite to push through with warnings to halt gas supplies to Europe.

“On the whole, the situation is escalating,” said Robert Habeck, Germany’s economy minister. “It’s becoming evident once again that Russia is using energy as a weapon.”

The retaliatory action pushed gas prices higher. Future contracts linked to TTF, the European wholesale gas price benchmark, jumped on Thursday about 13 per cent to about €106 per megawatt hour, more than quadruple levels a year ago.

Prices have risen this week from a low of about €90 per megawatt hour as Russian gas supply to the continent faced fresh threats.

Electricity prices also rose. Prices for German power next year hit their highest level in the year to date at over €230 per megawatt hour, according to Refinitiv.

On Wednesday Ukraine’s pipeline operator shut down the flow of gas from one of the two major pipelines that bring Russian gas through the country to Europe, citing interference from Russian occupying forces.

While very little gas has been passing through the Yamal-Europe pipeline in recent weeks, the pipeline is relied upon when gas demand rises.

Tom Marzec-Manser, head of gas analytics at ICIS, a commodity data firm, said sanctions on Europol Gaz could be problematic for German energy security next winter when demand for gas picks up.

The sanctions from Moscow, which said they were imposed in response to a swath of western sanctions, also ban Russian entities from selling gas or transacting with Gazprom Germania, a group of gas trading and storage companies that were taken over by the German government last month.

Gazprom Germania’s assets include Rehden, Germany’s largest gas storage facility, which accounts for about a fifth of the country’s total capacity, as well as large German gas distributors Wingas, WIEH and WIEE that buy supplies from Gazprom.

Germany acknowledged that Russia’s action was already having an impact. Habeck said supply had dropped by 10mn cubic metres a day, or 3 per cent of Russian-delivered gas on an annual basis. But he insisted it was “manageable”.

“The volumes can be procured on the market from other sources, and that’s the task we’re facing, to buy these amounts,” he said. “The German government will do all it can to stabilise Gazprom Germania.”

He said the situation did not warrant triggering an alarm for gas supply, adding that Germany had “prepared for this situation, as well as all other possible scenarios”.

Moscow’s sanctions could hit European gas supply by 13bn cubic metres, according to modelling by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Russia supplied the EU with 155 bcm of gas last year, or about 40 per cent of its needs.

Michael Müller, chief financial officer of RWE, one of Germany’s largest gas buyers, said that it was assessing the impact of the sanctions but it had assumed that the Russians “wouldn’t necessarily fill the gas storage facilities that fall under Gazprom Germania anyway”. These facilities were depleted before the war began after Russia withheld supplies over winter.

The European Commission said it was “analysing the Russian decision on sanctions against certain companies in the EU and the implications for the EU’s security of gas supply”.

It said the move underlined the need to cut dependency on Russian energy. It will unveil a proposal to boost alternative supplies, renewable energy and hydrogen on May 18. 

Gas traders have been focused for weeks on a new rouble payment mechanism demanded by Russia, which has led to Poland and Bulgaria being cut off from Russian gas and could flare up again later in May when payments are due from more European buyers.

Additional reporting by Andy Bounds in Brussels

This article has been amended since original publication to correct Michael Müller’s title

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Groundbreaking Set for Large-Scale Veterans Memorial Park to Be Constructed in Cannon Falls, MN

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When complete the project will feature 11 war memorials, athletic fields, a history museum and a 200,000 square foot banquet hall and education center

CANNON FALLS, Minn., May 5, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Toufong Lor, founder of the recently created nonprofit; American Veterans Memorial Park announced today the organization has closed on the purchase of 95-acres just south of Cannon Falls, MN in Goodhue County. The land will be developed into one of the largest Veterans Memorial Parks in the United States. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, with construction slated to begin this summer.

The project, set to be completed in phases, is envisioned as a destination attraction. It will eventually feature several miles of bike and hiking trails; an RV Park; a 200-thousand square feet banquet hall and education center; open 365 days a year that is open to the public and can be booked for any event including veterans holiday memorials, weddings and reunions. The center will also display war artifacts and have a small theatre with a seating capacity of 250 for speakers and presentations. In addition, developers will commission the creation of 11 U.S. war memorial monuments strategically scattered around the property. A first-of-its-kind Hmong Soldier War Memorial is also planned to pay tribute and honor to all Hmong-Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice in battle.

Later, Phase Two of the project will bring athletic fields for soccer, football and lacrosse, along with pickle ball courts and an on-site hotel development.

“This is a project I am extremely proud about,” said Toufong Lor. “This will be a place for all people. We fully expect people from all over the world to visit.”

Toufong Lor explained that his father is the inspiration for this large-scale project. Xia Yeng Lor was born in Laos and worked as a crop and hog farmer before being recruited by the CIA in the early 1960s. U.S. Military in Thailand trained him to help defeat communism during the Vietnam War. Reaching the rank of Senior Commander, Xia Yeng Lor was stationed on the highest peak in Laos to deter attacks on United States Radar and Communications infrastructure. He also served as boots on the ground to help rescue any fighter pilot shot down in the region and rush them to medical assistance. During one such mission he stepped on a landmine and was severely injured in the blast that killed seven of the nine soldiers at the scene. His injuries were so bad that one of his legs needed to be amputated. In 1980 he immigrated his family of nine to Minneapolis.

“My father is my hero. His sacrifices helped to give me and my six brothers a better life,” said Toufong Lor. “There are so many soldiers who gave up so much to ensure American freedom. I hope this park is a place people go to learn and remember those sacrifices.”

The project is located just south of Cannon Falls, a community just 40 minutes from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. City officials are excited for what the project could mean to their community.

Cannon Falls Mayor, Mayor Jon Atlhoff, a U.S. Air Force veteran, says he is looking forward to the project taking shape. “We expect this park will put our community on the map and bring people to town,” he said. “The scope of the project is robust, and its mission is sincere.”

City Administrator Neil Jensen said he believes the park will bring people to the area and allow them to explore the many things Cannon Falls has to offer. “The economic impact for Cannon Falls is going to be tremendous,” he said. “The plans for this project will make what’s happening here a destination.”

While it may be some time before the project is fully complete, Toufong Lor is confident that when complete the park will be unlike any other.

“This is a labor of love and a tribute to all veterans,” he said. “We cannot wait to transform this property into a venue for all people. It is something that will enhance the area greatly.”

Save the Date:

What: American Veterans Memorial Park Groundbreaking http://www.amvetsmempark.org

When: Saturday, May 7 at 1p.m.

Where: Just South of Cannon Falls off Hwy 52 where CC Rd 14 intersects

Who: Vet Park Founders, City & County Officials and all branches of the US military will be represented and honorably recognized.

Why: A formal groundbreaking ceremony featuring all stakeholders and brief speeches from honored guests. Huey Helicopter landing – adds to this fabulous Photo Opp.

About American Veterans Memorial Park:
The American Veterans Memorial Park located in Cannon Falls, MN will be the largest veterans commemorative park of its kind in North America and is the vision and commitment of founder Tou Fong Lor and his six Hmong brothers. The Lor Family immigrated to the United States and specifically Minnesota in the summer of 1980. Following in his father’s patriotic footsteps, Toufong Lor enlisted serving over a decade in the U.S. Navy and served four tours of duty during the Gulf War. In memory of their father and the freedom they all live under today; the family is dedicated to developing this 95-acre farm field into a massive tribute to all US Veterans.

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Media Contact

Robb Leer, Leer Communication & Consultants, 6127010608, robbl@leercommunication.com

SOURCE American Veterans Memorial Park

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Blake Harbin Hosting Special Event Today Leading Into U.S. Congress…

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“This is the type of track record and experience we need to turn around our state and our country. I am asking the voters to support my candidacy and hire me to work for them. We can all realize the American dream. We all deserve a chance at it.”

Heading into his run for U.S. Congress for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, nominee Blake Harbin is hosting a special event tonight, where he will speak about his forthcoming run.

The event will feature Brad Parscale, former campaign manager for President Donald J. Trump, as well as a host committee consisting of Dr. Britt and Copeland Boyd, Tom Pope III, and several others.

The event will take place today from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM at the Crooked Creek Community Clubhouse in Milton, GA.

Harbin announced his qualification for the ballot to represent the voters of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District earlier this month, after submitting his registration forms outside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. He’s overcome a great deal to get to this point, but believes that with his approach towards the American dream, it can become a reality.

“I’ve built my life and my home in the 6th district. Raised by a single mother with hardly any resources, I know the importance of community and opportunity and what they can do to help us change our lives. It would be a tremendous honor to help Georgians in the 6th district,” Harbin noted about his run.

“Our great country is under attack. It is headed in the wrong direction and we need to turn it around. Putting America First is not just a policy agenda, it is a mantra for us to do the right thing for our fellow Americans,” Harbin continued. “Only in this country can a boy who grew up with literally nothing work hard to find success. You have to earn it but it is there if you want it. The values this country and this great state were built upon are today under assault, and we need a fighter and a doer in Congress to protect them.”

“I know what adversity is and how it can shape our lives. In 2007, I lost the ability to walk after a tragic fall and had to start life all over. I’ve been knocked down before and know what it takes to get back up again and again. Determination and experience set me apart and I want to use the lessons I have learned to help our residents in the 6th district. I am an outsider. I am not connected to establishment politicians and I don’t commute to our district. I live in it.”

For more than 20 years Blake Harbin has built small businesses in financial management and home mortgages. He has created hundreds of jobs and helped others achieve their dreams saying, “This is the type of track record and experience we need to turn around our state and our country. I am asking the voters to support my candidacy and hire me to work for them. We can all realize the American dream. We all deserve a chance at it.”

For more information please visit: https://blakeharbin.com/

Those interested in reserving a spot at tonight’s event can do so by reaching out to Ryan Caudelle at ryan@blakeharbin.com.

CONTACT: Celinda Hawkins at: jerry.specialguests@gmail.com

Hundreds of additional guests at: https://SpecialGuests.com/guests-topics/

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