Business

Marijuana From LivWell Recalled Over Mold and Yeast Concerns

A former LivWell dispensary on Pearl Street that has since moved to East 17th Avenue.
A former LivWell dispensary on Pearl Street that has since moved to East 17th Avenue. Scott Lentz
Marijuana from LivWell Enlightened Health, one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains, is being recalled over mold and yeast concerns, according to the state Marijuana Enforcement Division.

In a health and safety notice sent out late Friday, March 11, the MED and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said that some recreational marijuana plant material sold by LivWell contained mold and yeast levels that were above the state limits. The recalled strain, Gelato Cake, was sold in pre-packaged half-ounces at LivWell's recreational dispensaries across the state, according to the MED.

LivWell has 21 stores across Colorado, with all but two locations in Colorado Springs offering recreational sales. The products were sold between December 30, 2021, and January 20 of this year, the recall states.

Although marijuana testing is required in Colorado, it's the responsibility of the business owner to make sure that all testing requirements are met, according to the MED. The department issues recalls after an additional review process prompted by tips and routine inspections verifies the potential contamination.

"Consumers who have these affected products in their possession should destroy them or return them to the retail store from which they were purchased for proper disposal. Consumers who experience adverse health effects from consuming the product should seek medical attention immediately and report the event to the Marijuana Enforcement Division by submitting a MED Reporting Form," the MED recall reads.

All of the recalled Gelato Cake has the cultivation license number 403R-00252 and harvest batch code GELCAK#1F35B10/18/21.0252 printed on the product packaging.

In a statement sent to Westword, LivWell says that a customer's inquiry inspired the investigation leading to the recall, and the company encouraged other customers to reach out.

"LivWell Enlightened Health is committed to delivering exceptional cannabis products to our customers, and we care deeply about the purity of our products. As such, we have strict production policies at our facilities to ensure that the products we make meet the quality assurance testing standards required by Colorado law. While we serve thousands of patients and consumers every day, complaints are very rare. In January of this year, we received a customer inquiry about a small amount of cannabis flower. We immediately pulled the entire batch from which this originated and self-reported the incident to the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED)," according to Chris Mapson, VP of Marketing for LivWell Enlightened Health.

"Molds and other natural organisms are an inherent factor in the production and storage of agricultural products like cannabis. Everything we grow and make is tested by state-licensed, independent laboratories to ensure our products meet the standards set by the MED for contaminants, including mold and other microorganisms, before they can be shipped to dispensaries and sold to consumers," the statement continues. "We work with regulators and other key stakeholders to evaluate cannabis testing standards to ensure all of our consumers and medical cannabis patients are receiving products free from unsafe mold and other contaminants. Once the product leaves our retail store, we strongly encourage our customers to store their products properly to ensure freshness and purity.

"LivWell Enlightened Health stands behind the quality and safety of all of our products. If there are questions or concerns, we encourage customers to reach out to us at [email protected]"

Founded in 2009, LivWell is one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains and vertically integrated marijuana brands. In October, the company announced that it had been acquired by PharmaCann Inc., a privately held cannabis ownership firm in Chicago. That acquisition was completed in February.
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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 westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell