Nearly 30,000 packages of marijuana-infused edibles in Colorado were voluntarily recalled in the last few days because they contain potentially dangerous pesticides that are banned for use on cannabis.
The moves represent the two largest recalls of infused pot products to date, according to the Denver Department of Environmental Health.
Coverage of marijuana pesticides in Colorado pot
Regulation delays, frustrations: Faced with lack of guidance from EPA, Colorado regulators yielded to pot industry pressure over pesticide use
Consumers file lawsuit: Colorado’s largest marijuana grower sued over pesticides
Independent spot-check: Denver Post tests find pesticides in pot products
Recalls: Denver issues two more recalls, for products from Den-Rec: Denver Recreational Dispensary and Sacred Seed
Following up: Colorado Department of Agriculture has investigations underway on pesticide misuse by Denver marijuana businesses Mahatma Concentrates and Treatments Unlimited
An alert to consumers and shops: Denver recalls Mahatma pot extracts over unapproved pesticides
Lab results: See the lab results from pot product testing commissioned by The Denver Post
Pot businesses buckle down: Pot industry reacts to new Denver scope on pesticide checks
Product inspections at Denver marijuana shops: City health officials cracking down on pesticide use in pot products
Cannabist Show: Get different perspectives on the Denver pesticides inspections from marijuana attorney Sean McAllister and Organic Cannabis Association board member Ben Gelt
More debate: Can pesticides be eliminated from commercial marijuana grows?
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Gaia’s Garden recalled more than 8,000 packages of infused edibles on Tuesday. EdiPure owner Green Cross recalled more than 20,000 units of its popular edibles line on Oct. 30. Both companies — which purchase cannabis from other growers to infuse their edibles with THC — had bought marijuana trim from TruCannabis, which was the subject of its own pesticide-related voluntary recall in mid-October.
“There’s a lot of sadness that we’re involved in this in any way whatsoever,” Gaia’s Garden managing owner Eric White said Tuesday.
Gaia’s Garden bought its tainted product from TruCannabis in February, White said. Green Cross CEO Mark Smith said his company made its purchase in April.
“You have no idea when you’re buying and bringing product into your facility,” Smith said. “At that time in April, there was no requirement or notice that this had pesticides. Only after the fact did they find out.”
Both companies said they’re altering their internal intake procedures to attempt to prevent this from happening again.
All of these recalls were carried out by the Denver Department of Environmental Health, which first started cracking down on pesticide use in March when it placed more than 100,000 cannabis plants on hold.
Six months after the original quarantines, The Denver Post commissioned independent tests on multiple marijuana extract brands and found that three prominent, and banned, pesticide chemicals were still being sold to customers by concentrates company Mahatma — and most of the city’s marijuana recalls have come as a result.
The Gaia’s Garden recall affects 15 medical products and six recreational products, mixed fruit lozenges and ginger drops included, that were distributed to 176 pot shops around the state.
The Green Cross recall involves 16 EdiPure products, grape licorice and sour gummy bears included, in more than 40 stores throughout the state.
Batch numbers for the recalls are listed in separate news releases for each company on the department’s website.
Customers who have any of the listed products should dispose of them or return them to the point of purchase — and contact the companies.
While no pesticide-related illnesses have yet been reported by cannabis users to local poison control centers, two people have sued LivWell, the state’s largest pot grower, for allegedly using banned pesticides on marijuana the customers later purchased.
State law requires labels to reflect any pesticide or contaminant that was used at any stage of a marijuana product’s processing. Though the law also requires cannabis businesses to test for pesticides, that provision has not been enforced in the first 20 months of recreational sales.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture has said it is creating a new rule governing pesticide use on marijuana, one more restrictive than the current list. The rule, if approved, also would allow pesticide manufacturers to test their product on marijuana and apply for a special exemption if they can prove the product is safe for ingestion, by eating and smoking.
Ricardo Baca: 303-954-1394, email@example.com or @bruvs.