Colorado Springs, CO

UPDATE: State issues health warning for marijuana sold in Colorado Springs

Matt Whittaker
The Living Rose Wellness dispensary in Colorado SpringsGoogle Maps

By Matt Whittaker / NewsBreak Denver

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) State officials warned the public about potential health issues with medical marijuana sold in a Colorado Springs dispensary.

The Marijuana Enforcement Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue issued a health and safety advisory last week after identifying potentially unsafe levels of yeast, mold and aspergillus on medical marijuana flower produced by SDJ LLC, which does business as Living Rose Wellness.

The batches that failed the testing were among more than 180 from this year and last that weren’t initially submitted for testing in accordance with state rules, the state said.

Officials deem it a “threat to public health and safety when marijuana is found to have levels of total yeast and mold and aspergillus above the acceptable limits,” the state said.

Aspergillus is a genus of mold species that can cause infections, fatal diseases and allergic responses, according to the National Library of Medicine.

New regulations pertaining to aspergillus went into effect in Colorado in July.

At Living Rose, an employee who was supposed to oversee testing wasn't up to date on the rules, said Michelle Stoddard, store manager. That person has since been fired, she said.

Marijuana Enforcement Division officials visited the store, informed the dispensary that its testing wasn't up to current standards and that all of its cannabis needed to be re-tested.

"All of the flower on our shelves since the issue occurred has been outsourced to ensure our patients are getting clean medicine," Stoddard said.

The dispensary, at 212 S. 21st Street, occupies a building in an older part of Colorado Springs. After mold was discovered in the roof, the dispensary was inspected, treated for mold and had its water source tested, Stoddard said.

"Our next step, is to have everything re-tested and swabbed to ensure the building is back up to code before growing any more cannabis in that building," Stoddard said. "We are taking this as a learning lesson and are excited to get back up to the quality standard we've been known for having for years."

Living Rose is hardly the first dispensary in Colorado to have its marijuana fail testing.

Last month, state officials warned the public about potential health issues with medical marijuana sold in 10 Colorado dispensaries, including six in Colorado Springs.

In July, the state said an investigation found potentially unsafe levels of yeast and mold on pre-rolled marijuana products produced by Dune Valley Farms, a south-central Colorado cultivator of high-grade cannabis.

This story has been updated to include additional comment from Living Rose.

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Matt Whittaker writes about natural resources industries, including oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, agriculture and cannabis. He's been based in the Denver metro area since 2013. You can follow him on Twitter @mattswhittaker.

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