Some of the samples contained a petroleum derivative and household disinfectant. Graphic: Simon Rankin
EXCLUSIVE Christiane Barro
Seriously ill patients who are turning to medical cannabis for life-saving treatment are being sold fake, poisonous and intoxicating products manufactured in backyard laboratories across Australia.
The unlicensed suppliers are sending cannabis oil that contains dangerous chemicals that could lead to cancer, and then charging people $6000 for up to three months’ supply.
The unregulated products have put patients’ lives in serious danger with several reports of abuse and the leak of private patients’ details. During a six-month investigation, The New Daily was sent 14 different samples of cannabis extract from concerned customers of three different illegal suppliers.
A top Australian research facility, which did not want to be named, independently tested these products for the amount of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the two most active ingredients in the cannabis plant.
When that data was analysed by Safe Work Laboratories, 13 products were found to have no medicinal value, contained hazardous solvents or were heavily intoxicating.