Cannabis recalls in Colorado have been one the biggest debacles in the industry for most of 2016. Last year Colorado majorly tightened up their game when it comes to pesticide control. Ever since then it has been one record breaking recall after another. Lots of the recalls have heavily affected different companies and their ability to do business, especially edible companies. Of course it is a good thing in general that the state is cracking down on this issue, but the problem is that many times the blame and punishment seems to fall on the wrong person for this issue. Edible companies, for example, usually end up absorbing the entire cost for recalling all of their potentially contaminated products off the shelves, while in many cases it is the growers that they purchased the weed from that administered the pesticide. There have been plenty of cases where companies that grow have been issued a recall as well. In fact there have been 25 large recalls just since last September. Some of these companies and dispensaries are so devastated by these blows financially that they could go bankrupt. A few of the companies aren’t going down without a fight however with this newest twist to the story. After making an appeal, the state has just released a bunch of cannabis that they retested and found to actually be pesticide free afterall.
Colorado just released literally hundreds of batches of cannabis that have cleared the Department of Agriculture’s retesting for pesticides. The batches were returned to four large companies in particular, one of which claims to have lost over $800,000 in product. The companies all sent appeals to the agency to test the products again, and it is a good thing they did. This does put the mass amount of recalls in the prior months into a new perspective, that hopefully some of them weren’t as drastic as things seemed. This was no small return for these companies either. There were 34 pounds of dried cannabis and nearly 600 unprocessed batches. They also returned 240 plants, but I don’t see how they could be in good condition considering these things were recalled earlier this year. The companies aren’t completely off the hook for this. They received cease and desist letters and could still face further action from the Department of Agriculture.
This is becoming a very tricky issue that we need to find a solution to. There are lots of problems that keep popping up with regulating pesticides. At this point one of the issues is the lack of labs that are qualified to test cannabis for pesticides as opposed to the ones that can test for potency. Another one of the biggest hurdles is dishonesty from the organic pesticide industry. One company in particular, Guard, was a well trusted organic and all natural pesticide that was revealed to have a dangerous and banned chemical for pesticide use on cannabis. It was not only quite the scandal within the growing industry, but it has led to countless batches of cannabis to be contaminated despite the intentions of the grower. This issue is undeniably important, but at the same time Colorado seems to be putting too much work into this whole thing, or at the very least is going about it the wrong way. There has still yet to be a single report to the poison control center from someone reacting badly to pesticides on pot, but that’s not to say it isn’t a serious health concern. Hopefully we’ll figure out how to test more efficiently and finally get this problem under control.