Eric Gorski of the Denver Post this morning writes: “Food inspections flag health threats in edible marijuana products.” Gorski reports that food safety inspections of businesses that manufacture and sell marijuana edibles in Denver have found products that should be refrigerated sitting out on shelves and preparation methods insufficient to kill bacteria that can cause serious food-borne illness. The unannounced visits by the Denver Department of Environmental Health have led to three product recalls and the destruction of tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of products. Most infused baked goods are fine on shelves if the marijuana extraction or concentrate has been continuously refrigerated before being added, according to a department memo last month.
- One infused-product manufacturer, Mile High Distributing, was hit with a cease-and-desist order and told to recall infused olive oil that was being stored at room temperature after being created in an ethanol hash oil extraction that was not hot enough. The company also was ordered to recall liquid THC drops kept at room temperature.
- Edibles manufacturer At Home Baked, operating under a license held by Advanced Medical Alternatives, was instructed to stop selling and destroy its marijuana-infused baking mixes and oil pouches. The company used a cold-water hash extraction in oil stored in reduced oxygen packaging at room temperature, which is conducive to spore germination and toxin formation, a report says.
- Dixie Elixirs and Edibles of Denver, Colorado’s highest-profile infused-products company, was cited in March for keeping bottles of oils at room temperature that inspectors said should be refrigerated. The inspector spoke with Dixie about testing the products for pH and water activity, which can determine whether food products kept at room temperature can support the rapid growth of microorganisms, an inspection report said.
- Another edibles manufacturer, Marqaha, was ordered to inform dispensaries to refrigerate its infused juices, teas, tinctures and sprays. The city says the company has not provided any test results showing the drinks are safe to store at room temperature.
- Inspectors found edibles manufacturer Canna Elixirs lacking paper towels, sanitizer or proper sinks. The operator couldn’t explain correct procedures for cleaning and sanitizing. After city officials deemed products made there “unwholesome,” the operator put 73 caramels and the contents of 11 bottles of infused soda into a bucket, doused it with bleach and dirt and threw it out.
- At Patients Choice dispensary on Morrison Road, inspectors found expired coconut oil and mold on infused butter.