Heavy Metals Contaminant Sparks Latest Marijuana Recall

Heavy Metals Contaminant Sparks Latest Marijuana Recall
Kate McKee Simmons
A Colorado dispensary chain is recalling a batch of marijuana because of concerns over potentially unsafe levels of heavy metals.

According to a joint announcement from the state Marijuana Enforcement Division and Department of Public Health and Environment, recreational marijuana flower, trim and shake from High Country Healing has tested positive for cadmium, a heavy metal found in growing fertilizer and outdoor soil.

High Country Healing has locations in Alma, Avon, Colorado Springs and Silverthorne, but the recall only lists a dispensary license number connected to the Silverthorne location. The recalled marijuana was sold between December 2020 and March of this year, according to the MED, with multiple harvest batches affected.

Here is the cultivation license number from the facility connected to the recall as well as the affected strain names and their harvest dates:

Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facility License: 403R-00123
  • Pie Walker #2; harvested 1/21/2021
  • Pie Walker #2; harvested 1/21/21
  • Strawberry Fields; harvested 2/5/21
  • The Juice Man #3; harvested 2/5/21
  • Nina's Web; harvested 2/4/21
  • Kimbo Kush; harvested 11/17/20
  • Kimbo Kush; harvested 11-17-2020
  • Kimbo Kush; harvested 12/14/20
  • Kimbo Kush; harvested 11/17/2020
  • Kimbo Kush; harvested 11-17-20
"Consumers who experience adverse health effects from consuming the product should seek medical attention immediately and report the event to the store from which they purchased the product," the recall reads, adding that anyone who purchased the product should return it "for proper disposal."

Heavy metals such as arsenic, nickel, copper, mercury and cadmium can be found in growing nutrients and fertilizers used to enhance the flavor, yield and potency of marijuana. According to the National Institutes of Health, long-term exposure to heavy metals can lead to liver or kidney damage, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, heart abnormalities, a disrupted nervous system, anemia and more.

Colorado didn't begin testing for heavy metals until 2020; according to the MED, some cultivation owners were having troubles with the testing procedures. Since the official tetsing began, this is the second announcement of a recall over concerns regarding heavy metal; the first, in October involved arsenic.

High Country healing could not be reached for comment.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for
Contact: Thomas Mitchell