New Brunswick mandates licenses after violations by Organigram



Poor cultivation practices led to the mandatory testing of cannabis during Canada’s medical era. More than one cultivator was at fault for incidents involving banned pesticides, though. And in 2019, one of the guilty producers led to more mandatory tests and new licenses after a different violation.

Mandatory tests for license holders

A report on the issue discussed new testing policies designed to mitigate and prevent more major contamination events. Beyond testing facilities, a new license system launches next month. Rather than pesticides, Organigram operated cooling towers without an adequate cleaning system. Bacteria built up inside the system and blew across Moncton, New Brunswick. An outcry ensued over the lack of mandatory rules after the incident since more than a dozen individuals fell seriously ill.

Tests are one step toward containing future outbreaks. But Bill 91 includes a guideline for the new registry of cooling tower licenses after Organigram’s violation. And according to a press release by New Brunswick’s Ministry of Health, licenses to operate cooling towers will be mandatory beginning August 1, 2022. But the annual $450 fee was waived until March 31, 2023

Dorothy Shephard mandated a cooling tower license in response to Organigram's violation that caused a Legionairre's outbreak.

Swapping ministers

Bill 91 governs the new license system for cooling towers, proposed by former Minister of Health — Dorothy Shephard. But shortly after the bill passed, Shephard was swapped with the Minister of Social Development, Bruce Fitch. The reason for this, though, was an unfortunate death in a waiting room in a hospital’s emergency ward. 

Earlier on June 30, however, Premier Higgins announced New Brunswick’s new Deputy Health Minister. And shortly after the law passed, Organigram settled an older class action suit.

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