Commercial weed is not only legal, it's healthier: B.C. Solicitor General

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Buying cannabis from legal stores in B.C. keeps residents on the right side of the law but also helps them avoid unhealthy contaminants found in illegal products.

Testing of 20 dried cannabis samples from illegal retailers in the Lower Mainland in February found a number of contaminates in those samples, according to a news release from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

"In addition to the potential health risks, if you buy illegal cannabis, you could also be supporting organized criminal operations that pose a danger to our communities," Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said in the release.

“Twenty-four distinct pesticides were found in the illicit cannabis samples, along with unacceptable levels of bacteria, fungi, lead and arsenic,” the release states.

While the release doesn’t say what percentage of the samples had contaminants in them, it does include a link to the test results, here.

“The frequency and variety of contaminants identified indicate that some growers producing for the illicit market may be engaging in practices that pose risks to both consumers and employees handling cannabis,” the ministry said in the release.

Legally sold cannabis has to be tested to make sure it doesn’t contain solvent residues and contaminants such as pesticides, fungi, bacteria and heavy metals. Illegal cannabis, of course, is not subject to such testing.

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