Scottish food safety firm teams up with Canadian producer

A Glasgow-based food safety business will supply an unnamed Canadian cannabis producer with test kits designed to eradicate carcinogenic toxins in products.

R-Biopharm Rhône manufacture kits to test for toxins in a range of foodstuffs such as milk, spices, cereals and animal feeds.

Now it has been approached by a Canadian cannabis producer that wants to ensure its products can be certified toxin-free

R-Biopharm Rhône product manager Claire Milligan told Laboratory News: “Just like any other ingestible item, strict consumer protection legislation requires that cannabis products, including oils, cookies and cannabis plants themselves, should be tested for the presence of dangerous toxins.

“While the legality of cannabis products in the UK is currently the subject of wide-ranging debate, in those jurisdictions, such as Canada, certain states in the US, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands where consumption of cannabis products is permitted, testing for toxins remains of great importance.

Patients can be prescribed medicinal cannabis by specialist doctors in the UK

Toxin detection

“In the wake of the sale to our Canadian customer we anticipate further demand for our test kits in other regions where consumption of cannabis is legal as well as perhaps, at some stage, here in the UK.”

Canada legalised medicinal cannabis in 2001 and became the second country in the world to legalise cannabis for recreational use last year. It is now home to some of the world’s biggest producers.

Patients can be prescribed medicinal cannabis by specialist doctors in the UK as of November 2018.

It is the first time UK medical experts have had the option to legally issue prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines if they think it could help their patient.

Before the ruling, almost all cannabis-based medicinal products were judged to have no therapeutic value. 

In Summer 2018 Home Secretary Sajid Javid called for a review of cannabis-based medicines and accepted the subsequent recommendations from UK medical experts.

GPs cannot make the decision to prescribe these unlicensed medicines – only specialist doctors in fields like neurology or paediatrics.