Almost 150,000 kilograms of medicinal cannabis produced under Denmark’s regulatory scheme never made it to market and was intentionally destroyed, according to government data.
The figures were revealed by the Danish Parliament’s Health Committee in reply to a parliamentary inquiry earlier this year.
A government spokesperson said the figure includes all cannabis destroyed by companies with an authorisation to cultivate under the pilot program, from the date those firms secured approval to operate.
The data indicates the amount of legal cannabis destroyed under the scheme surpassed the country’s total output reported to global drug regulators.
According to MJBizDaily international editor Matt Lamers: “The numbers underscore that a significant amount of legal cannabis grown in certain countries is never sold for various reasons – such as poor quality, regulatory factors or insufficient demand – and is subsequently destroyed.”
In Canada, licensed companies destroyed 872,443 kilograms of cannabis between 2018 and 2021.
Little Green Pharma (LGP) is authorised to manufacture cannabis bulk and primary products from its Danish facility.
CEO Paul Long told Cannabiz LGP Denmark is subject to “arguably the strictest GMP and regulatory requirements for cannabis flower globally”.
These include a complete prohibition on any kind of pesticide and the destruction of validation batches following wider batch release.
It also has to comply with GMP requirements which exclude outdoor cultivation, impose GMP-quality processes from the time of harvest, require narrower permitted THC and CBD deviation ranges on final products, enforce strict batch moisture levels at 10%, and require a two-year registration process to supply products into Denmark.
He said: “These quality control requirements collectively result in significantly more testing, validation and destruction of cannabis flower to get to market than in any other jurisdiction, and may help explain the significant amount of product historically destroyed across Denmark.”
Long said LGP also inherited almost five tonnes of bulk-packed cannabis flower – much of it close to expiration and therefore unsaleable in the Australian market – when it acquired the facility in July 2021.
He added: “In addition, LGP has conducted a comprehensive pheno-hunting program, which requires the cross-breeding and cultivation of multiple strains, resulting in over 20 genetics that LGP has or is actively developing.
“This experimentation requires the destruction of crops and constitutes the bulk of LGP’s destruction count since the company has managed the facility.
“LGP otherwise currently grows to order, meaning the bulk destruction of cannabis for other reasons is unusual and typically related to grading activities, or where a product line is subsequently discontinued.”