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Colorado issues massive recall of pesticide-tainted marijuana

colorado pesticide

State marijuana regulators Thursday announced a recall of a large amount of retail pot grown and allegedly treated with unapproved pesticides by MGI Inc. in Denver, whose cultivation facilities operate under the name Kindman.

The recall — which the state calls a public health and safety advisory — appears to extend to dozens of strains the company has grown as long ago as March 2014 and as recently as January 2016, according to an announcement by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Regulators said the recall is the result of an investigation by the state Department of Agriculture, which confirmed the presence of imidacloprid, one of the most widely used insecticides in the world but not approved for use on marijuana.

MGI owner Ryan Fox said his company “absolutely has not used this pesticide in production,” and is challenging the recall.

“We are contesting these findings and are attempting to have the hold released,” he said in a statement. “We believe the test process is faulty and that the Colorado Department of Agriculture has potentially cross-contaminated our samples during testing.”

The state said its lab is an “accredited facility” and that it adheres to “stringent samply and quality control standards,” according to Steve Bornmann, director of CDA’s Inspection and Consumer Services Division.

Fox said CDA tests showed traces of the pesticide as low as five parts per billion. He said he is having the plants retested.

Colorado attorney Rachel Gillette said the marijuana industry has concerns about the state’s pesticide testing.

“We’re getting conflicting results from this state-certified lab … and the licensee has no way to verify the results,” she said.

It is unclear just how large the recall is or how many actual plants and products are included since the state does not disclose that information. Fox said the strains are sold to cannabis stores across the state, which then sell to consumers.

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