Are you smoking moldy weed? Find out now!

No moldy weed here! Just clean, medical marijuana clones with long roots

Remember when we said Arizona needs stricter regulations on labeling and testing?

Welp, before we could even blink, our worst fears came to fruition: an Arizona medical marijuana grower was caught with dangerous amounts of mold on their flower.

This all started when AZ Family ran a piece on Encanto Green Cross Dispensary. They toured the grow-house, spoke with the cultivators, and everything seemed to be up-to-par.

That is, until former employees of Encanto reached out to the news site alerting them to an alleged mold problem in the growhouse. In fact, two known employees were let-go based on their concerns over moldy weed.

This motivated AZ Family to return, purchase flower, and have it tested at an independent testing facility.

What did they find?

They discovered 3/4 of the samples contained over 10,000 CFU of mold and yeast.

One strain, in particular, had too much mold to test. (However, they did estimate it at over 300,000 CFU). These levels are alarming for anyone with a compromised immune system.. In fact, medical journals have documented cases where MMJ patients contracted fungal pneumonia from smoking moldy weed.

No moldy weed here! Just clean, medical marijuana overhead view

Moldy Weed!? WTF Is Wrong With People?

Tell me:

How is it legal for our medication to be contaminated?

Luckily for Encanto, Arizona has no legal limit set on the amount of mold allowed on medical marijuana. This means our trust is placed solely on the people supplying our medication… And if we know anything about businesses, it’s that they never try to take advantage of the consumer.. Right??

According to the dispensary owner, he will “absolutely not” remove any of the contaminated cannabis. Why? Because “there’s no evidence or proof that we have a mold problem”.

Essentially, he brushed the test-results aside touting they weren’t “certified”, despite the fact that the lab worked with the Arizona Department of Health Services in the past.

Who did he suggest we trust? Their hired internal lab-testing. Conveniently, Arizona state law also allows them to hide the results from the public. (No, I’m not joking)

“I’m the one authorized by the State of Arizona by a dispensary agent card to cultivate on behalf of the patients. You are not.”

Unfortunately, this goes back to the point of our last post:

  • Honest Medical Marijuana labeling is of utmost importance.
  • Our lawmakers must put laws in place to protect patients, not dispensary owners
  • We deserve a transparent view into our products. From the chemical additives, to the mold-level test results.
  • Most importantly: There must be laws to prevent moldy weed from ever making it to market.

Cameron looking at medical marijuana

How Much “Moldy Weed” Is Too Much?

Like I said, Arizona is one of the few states with legal marijuana to not set a limit on mold. Colorado and Washington, for example, have set the “safe to sell” limit at “Under 10,000 CFU”. This means 3 out of the 4 strains tested from Encanto would be illegal to sell. The 300,000 CFU sample is probably enough to study as it’s own ecosystem, but definitely not safe to consume.

Let me take this moment to remind you all: Marijuana is only legal in Arizona as a health care option. That being said, you cannot use “profit” as an excuse. At the end of the day, it is still within the Healthcare industry.

What would the AZDHS do if they caught a vendor selling moldy Insulin? There would be serious consequences.

But what can we do to help?

  • Contact the Arizona Department of Health Services at their MMJ Program email at: M2dispensaries@azdhs.gov
  • Let them know that you are concerned for your health regarding the lack of laws on moldy weed
  • Be respectful and share the message!

In summary, we need to take it upon ourselves to be responsible for our own medication.

A “budtender” will have no idea on the contaminate profile of your marijauna.

Does it make sense to have to test every batch of medication you purchase?
No.

I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s unrealistic to expect consumers to test their products for safety. Encanto’s response sounds like someone who is avoiding the actual problem and finding blame.

This is why we need state reform on current policies to better equip Arizona (and other states). We should not feel unsafe using our medication.

Nick Abell is the author/creative director of ServingRealness.com, a vegan lifestyle blog dedicated to his love of cooking. He is also the Technical Director and Co-Contributor of JustAnotherJay.com

Nick Abell is the author/creative director of ServingRealness.com, a vegan lifestyle blog dedicated to his love of cooking. He is also the Technical Director and Co-Contributor of JustAnotherJay.com

2 Comments

  1. Bess

    December 28, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Woah, that is insane! I didn’t realize AZ had such lax mold requirements. I’ve heard stories of grows dunking buds in hydrogen peroxide to help pass tests. It’s SO important growers place patients and consumers over profits.

    Reply
    • Nick Abell

      December 28, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      I agree Bess. It’s shocking to me that most people don’t even care about the quality of the medicine. Thanks so much for the love

      Reply

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