Two Colorado residents are suing a marijuana grower for allegedly spraying plants with a fungicide that becomes toxic when ignited. The claimants allege that the grower sprayed the plants with the fungicide without alerting consumers.
Brandan Flores and Brandie Larrabee accuse the cannabis retailer and distributor LivWell of spraying plants with Eagle 20.
The Eagle 20 fungicide contains myclobutanil, a chemical that releases toxic fumes when burned. The fungicide is commonly used for fungi control on grapes and other edible crops, but is not approved for use on smokeable crops such as a tobacco.
“As such, persons who smoke cannabis that has been sprayed with Eagle 20 inhale … poisonous hydrogen cyanide,” the lawsuit states.
Steven Woodrow, lawyer for the plaintiffs, says the complaint marks the first product liability action against a company in the legal marijuana industry as far as he knows. Woodrow is seeking a class-action lawsuit.
Flores is a recreational user, while Larrabee, who has a brain tumor, has a medical marijuana card. They are not claiming that the chemical caused them to be sick, but that they would not have bought the marijuana had they known of the use of the fungicide.
LivWell, in turn, claims the plants are safe to smoke.
“Testing of our finished product by an independent, state-licensed lab approved by the City of Denver showed that our products are safe – as we have always maintained,” said John Lord, LivWell owner, in a statement.
Denver health regulators previously withheld LivWell’s products from sale while they were being tested for the chemical. Only low levels of myclobutanil were detected, and the plants were released for sale. The plaintiffs claim that even low levels of the chemical can be harmful.
Photo Credit: Coleen Whitfield
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