Flowr: Just say ‘no’ to irradiated pot

Published on January 15, 2019 by oz. staff

The founder and co-CEO of Okanagan-based The Flowr Corporation is not a fan of irradiated cannabis.

Tom Flow has written a column in the National Post’s pot publication, The GrowthOp, deriding the increasingly common practice.

Tom Flow CEO of Flowr

“Some licensed producers are using irradiation—or non-radioactive gamma rays—to kill mould, bacteria and other contaminants to meet Health Canada’s safety requirements for cannabis,” he wrote.

“Check out the FAQ page for licensed producers who irradiate their plants and one will find language that touts irradiation as the best and cleanest way to eliminate mould and satisfy testing requirements. Respectfully, I disagree.”

Flow says the safety of irradiated food has been debated for decades.

With cannabis, he says irradiation diminishes the presence of terpenes – which affect the taste and effect, as well as play a role in the medicinal benefits.

“So to simply dismiss the potential effect of irradiation on the efficacy of a complex plant like cannabis is as laughable as eating mouldy bread,” he said.

“Increasingly, this industry is buying into the idea that irradiation is a necessity when it comes to protecting crops from mould and other contaminants and ensuring the delivery of a safe, clean product to consumers. But I see it as more of a crutch that can mask poor growing practices.”

He said good growing practices and well designed and ventilated facilities are better ways to keep mould and bacteria off cannabis.

Flowr’s flagship Kelowna campus is one of the most advanced, purpose-built cultivation facilities in the world.