A close-up of marijuana flowers at La Conte's grow facility in Denver in December 2014. (Denver Post file)

Amid EdiPure’s third pesticide recall, edibles biz calls city’s testing ‘dubious’

Edibles company EdiPure says city's chosen pot-testing lab, Gobi Analytical, relies on 'voodoo math and junk science,' questions test results that led to pesticide recalls; But Gobi's owner stands behind results, and city stands with the lab

Marijuana edibles company EdiPure on Tuesday said it is voluntarily recalling more than 35,000 packages of its cannabis-infused products because of the presence of potentially dangerous pesticides — and the business is also taking aim at the pot-testing laboratory used by the city of Denver, calling the lab’s pesticide testing methodology “dubious at best.”

Marijuana edibles are displayed at a marijuana shop in Denver. (Anya Semenoff, Denver Post file)
Marijuana edibles are displayed at a marijuana shop in Denver. (Anya Semenoff, Denver Post file)

The pesticide recall is EdiPure’s third in six weeks — and the 12th to be issued by Denver’s Department of Environmental Health within four months.

In EdiPure’s first two recalls, the company pulled more than 27,000 packages of its popular marijuana-infused edibles. The third recall affects another 35,125 packages.

But EdiPure now alleges that Gobi Analytical — the marijuana-testing lab used by the city of Denver to determine the presence and levels of certain pesticide chemicals in cannabis products — isn’t delivering accurate test results.

“The methods employed by this particular lab are dubious at best, relying more on voodoo math and junk science than certified and standard scientific testing methods,” reads a statement EdiPure published on its social media feeds two hours before its latest recall was announced by the city. “EdiPure has been left with absolutely no recourse to question what we believe to be false positives and poor testing. EdiPure has not been allowed knowledge of what other methods or calibrations have been used by this lab, or how the testing is being done.”

Gobi Analytical owner Peter Perrone told The Post on Tuesday that he fully stands behind his lab’s test results.

“Voodoo science? Actually, dude, I’m using pretty much exactly the same methodology that the Colorado Department of Agriculture uses,” Perrone said. “The Denver Attorney’s office called me recently and said the reason they trust my results is because I’m pretty damn close to the Ag Department. Ag tests something and I test the same thing, and the results are very close to one another.

“At the end of the day these guys are grasping at straws. I feel for them.”

Staffers at Gobi Analytical in Denver test marijuana for pesticides on Aug. 20. (Mahala Gaylord, The Denver Post)
Staffers at Gobi Analytical in Denver test marijuana for pesticides on Aug. 20. (Mahala Gaylord, The Denver Post)

No cannabis labs are currently certified to test for pesticides in Colorado; The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which certifies labs for testing, has said it will be at least a year before any labs are certified for pesticide testing. Wheat Ridge-based Gobi Analytical is the only state-licensed lab used by Denver’s Department of Environmental Health and the Denver City Attorney’s office for pesticide testing, the city confirmed Tuesday.

“Environmental Health has a responsibility to protect consumer safety,” Dan Rowland, spokesperson for the city’s office of marijuana policy, said Tuesday. “When public health or safety concerns are identified, the department relies on the expertise of an unbiased, independent testing authority with established methodology, equipment and experience for testing marijuana products.”

In its statement, EdiPure said it has self-tested multiple products that had already tested positive for pesticides at Gobi Analytical — but the business’ in-house test results “came back negative — our product was clean and fully compliant.” The company said it will soon distribute documents and expert testimony “that will detail the unanswered questions and substantial concerns surrounding the current practices that seem to be sparking these recalls.”

Click through to the next page to see the full text of EdiPure’s statement