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80 percent of Denver-based dispensaries fail random mold tests

The city of Denver recently conducted random tests at more than two dozen local dispensaries to find out if there was a potential for mold and yeast issues with the marijuana they were selling. The results of these tests were not reassuring.

The City of Denver issued a notice to all licensed marijuana dispensaries in the city. The notice stated that investigators were going to be performing randomized testing at approximately 25 stores over the next few weeks. The tests were being performed to, “evaluate contaminants in produce on store shelves.”

The announcement reads, “Each sample will be tested for pesticides and total yeast and mold by a state- and ISO-certified marijuana testing facility. Results of their respective testing will be shared with each facility and will also be shared broadly within a write-up of results,” the notice read.

Though the write-up of the results will not be issued for a few months, 25 Denver and Department of Public Health and Environment dispensary inspection reports that were filed over a two-day span were revealed. Of those reports, 20 stated at least one or more hold and quarantine orders on cannabis flowers, shake or pre-rolled joints, and an 80 percent failure rate.

These disciplinary actions were related to findings that the plant matter that was tested was above the maximum allowed for the total amount of mold and yeast.

Though the plant materials that failed the inspections weren’t covered in the mold that you would normally see on a piece of food, the mold that was present can still be potentially toxic, even if it isn’t visible to the naked eye.

When asked if all 25 of the tests that were performed were a part of the mold and yeast assessment that the city was planning, officials of DDPHE would not confirm the information; however, officials did acknowledge that some of the tests were related.

Abby Davidson, the food and marijuana safety manager for DDPHE said, “I would imagine we probably did some routine inspections during that time.” She also noted that, “All of our enforcement in our work from the beginning of workings with marijuana facilities is public. So maybe some [reports that were connected to the planned assessment] went out before, but maybe some went out after.”

Nevertheless, Davidson said, “we don’t typically do 25 investigations in a week.”

Officials for DDPHE stated that random inspections are a part of a research project that has been planned for a long time. The project aims to learn more about the shelf life and packaging of marijuana. Specific dispensaries were not being targeted. Therefore, the names of the dispensaries whose products were recalled were not shared.

Mold Inspection & Testing Denver has extensive experience performing mold tests in all types of facilities throughout the Denver area. Though we do not perform testing on marijuana products, we do conduct testing within the physical property of dispensaries. We strongly urge all dispensaries to have regular mold testing performed, as there is a chance that mold growth within the facility could spread to plant matter. To speak with an MI&T representative, please call 720.445.4453.

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