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Reader: The Mold Problem Is With Wholesale Growers, Not Dispensaries
Jacqueline Collins

Reader: The Mold Problem Is With Wholesale Growers, Not Dispensaries

On August 19, the City of Denver sent a notice to every licensed marijuana dispensary in the city, warning that investigators would be conducting random assessments at about 25 stores in the coming weeks "to evaluate contaminants in products on store shelves."

After learning of the tests, Westword studied 25 Denver Department of Public Health and Environment dispensary inspection reports filed between September 9 and September 11. Twenty listed at least one or more hold and quarantine orders for cannabis flower, shake or pre-rolled joints that tested above the maximum allowed for total yeast and mold, an 80 percent failure rate.

Says Yannek: 

That's pretty friggin' nasty. Mold is obviously quite bad for you. Professional growers should throw out the batch if there is mold... and learn to cure properly.

Adds Lisa:

The drying and curing process takes weeks to do properly. Peeps are all rushed these days.

Responds Matt:

 All you stoners have been smoking mold and whatever else since you started smoking. Did back-alley boys send you test results with your shwag ?

Replies another Matt: 

Homegrown is normally cleaner than warehouse-grown. That has been true for decades, regardless of laws. Quality over profit will always be hard to find as any industry scales up.

Counters Cierra: 

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People who grow their own weed suffer from the same problems as dispensaries. Mold, spider mites, etc. What experience do any of you smokers have that will make you a better grower than dispensaries that have hired people with degrees to grow and cultivate their weeds?

Mold happens when you fuck up the drying process. And since nobody's perfect, we should share the correct process to dry out the weed for everyone's safety.

Ricardo wants more shared:

 I say names or it didn't happen. #FakeNews.

Responds Anne: 

I absolutely believe it without names... Have you tried smoking the marijuana here? It's over-dry and is always off.... Still safer than street weed, but the pot industry here is corrupt for quick sales.

Concludes William: 

Why am I not surprised? At $150+ per ounce, you would expect the quality to reflect the price.

The problem is with the wholesale growers, not the dispensaries.

In announcing the random assessment, the health department noted that "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."

Because that write-up is still months away, the health department did not release the names of the dispensaries that had been tested, although that information is in the investigative reports. But the wholesale growers that supplied the failed cannabis products to the dispensaries, after having their marijuana tested by the state, were not named in the reports. That will be one of the focuses of Westword's follow-up investigations; we have reached out to all the dispensaries that failed the tests, and will continue to report on this situation.

In the meantime, what do you think of Denver's health department expanding its study of mold in marijuana? Are the state's tests adequate? Post a comment or email your thoughts to marijuana@westword.com.

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