Colleen Elliott

Denver Releases Recalled Cannabis Products Amid Lab Test Confusion

Denver has decided to release 28,000 formerly-recalled cannabis-infused products back onto the market, The Cannabist reports.

The products had been recalled after they tested positive for pesticides that have been banned for use on cannabis.

In November, Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an executive order that cannabis products that tested positive for such pesticides be destroyed, as they posed a “risk to public health.” Despite this, city officials say they released low-level batches of the recalled products after Denver’s city attorney informed them that “the XO [executive order] doesn’t tell us, the city, anything,” according to Dan Rowland on behalf of Denver’s Office of Marijuana Policy.

“What the governor’s XO does is give advice and guidance to state agencies, which is great,” said Rowland. “It’s certainly guidance and advice that we can use. Obviously we looked at it, and it’s good to see that information out there.”

The city has chosen to release cannabis-infused edibles made by EdiPure and Gaia’ Garden. The amount of pesticides in the products are within the limit legally allowed on food. 

According to Rowland, the city’s Department of Environmental Health is confident that the products are safe for consumption.

The city has come under attack for its pesticide verification methods. Indeed, Denver’s sole lab-testing partner, Gobi Analytical, is not certified by Colorado to test for pesticides.

Ron Kammerzell, deputy senior director for enforcement at Colorado’s Department of Revenue, noted that Denver’s testing procedures were not standardized.

“Some local jurisdictions are using laboratories that have not received certification for pesticide testing. I can’t really speak to how they’re using those test results.”

Kammerzell told the state House Finance Committee that the state would begin verifying the integrity of various labs’ results.

“We’re now instituting blind tests across the laboratories to make sure we’re getting consistent results. We haven’t been doing that before. And so I’d say, as we roll out this proficiency program, that’s going to ensure a much higher level of confidence of the testing laboratories provide.”

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