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I’ll Take an Eighth of the Finest – But Hold the Mold Please

Ashley Priest

by Ashley Priest

August 19, 2021 03:00 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
I’ll Take an Eighth of the Finest – But Hold the Mold Please

Cannabis legalization means access to cannabis for many people. You can walk into a cannabis dispensary, be it medical or recreational, and score some herb. I’ll have an eighth of weed, please, but you may want to ask them to hold the mold. Mold has become an increasingly troublesome issue with the legal cannabis industry. In the past, if your weed was filled with mold, spider mites, or other impurities, you just had to deal with it. It meant that it was probably time to get a different dealer. Today, we don’t just have to deal with it. In a regulated market, when a cannabis provider produces an inferior product contaminated with mold or other impurities, it can be recalled.

Heavy metals, pesticides, and mold are common occurrences throughout the cannabis industry these days. Earlier this year, regulators in the state of Colorado had to place a product recall on Veritas Fine Cannabis out of Denver, Colorado, for allegedly having products on the market containing mold and yeast. The recall on Veritas Fine Cannabis was issued on January 8th of this year by Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division or MED for short, in a collaborative effort with the Department of Public Health and Environment. Two strains of cannabis from this grower were recalled. Biker Oz and Grape Oz are at the source of the recall. MED is considering destroying all of the product, but sadly, It is believed the majority of it has already been consumed because it was sold throughout November and December of 2020. This means people paid top dollar for a regulated product that, in essence, could have been toxic or harmful to them.

Moldy Michigan

Colorado isn’t alone, as Michigan has also faced issues with mold contamination. A group of testing facilities in Michigan gave warning that cannabis across the state was contaminated with yeast and mold. The Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, however, disagrees. The reason they disagree is that testing was conducted without regulatory oversight.

Cannabis legalization has without a doubt increased access to cannabis for many people across the nation. Sadly the quality of cannabis isn’t what you would expect from a legal so-called regulated market. Much to the dismay of many consumers across the nation, their cannabis may contain things in it they are unaware of. Growers and processors of cannabis can cut corners and do things they shouldn’t in order to not lose out on profit. People are of no concern to these particular individuals. Very rarely is it that people are unaware of what they’re doing, it’s that they just don’t care.

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Mildew, Mold, and Spider Mites – Oh My!

Cannabis is not impervious to imperfections that severely affect its quality. Just like any other agricultural crop, cannabis is susceptible to pests, molds, and mildew. Anyone who has consumed cannabis for quite a while has more than likely experienced breaking open a bud held together by an abundance of webbing from a tiny little nuisance called spider mites. This is not something you want to smoke. It is bad for the lungs, harsh, and is notoriously famous for inducing very bad headaches. Spider mites not only leave their webbing behind but their dead little corpses as well.

Mildew and mold is another extremely important issue that should always be kept under close watch when you deal with cannabis. Making sure that the product does not become contaminated should be a number one priority for growers and dispensaries. Contamination doesn’t always happen at the grow, it can also occur in dispensaries too. A prime example is a small dispensary that sets up a clone display inside their store. The display becomes infested with pests such as gnats. The gnats then begin to swarm the entire store, eventually affecting the product on the shelves and in the back of the building.

The good thing about a problem like this is you can see gnats everywhere. Cannabis that has mold or mildew is a different story. Mold on cannabis plants usually occurs through poor growing practices. When plants are not properly ventilated and do not have sufficient fresh air, this issue can damage crops beyond repair. At first signs of powdery mold or mildew buildup on cannabis leaves many growers will attempt to rectify the problem using neem oil. This can also be problematic as the side effects of ingesting neem oil has a lot in common with the symptoms of Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome.

Growing is a Craft – Do it Right

Issues like those being experienced in Colorado, Michigan, and other legal cannabis industries with mold and contaminated products are a major concern. If the industry is going to be taxed so heavily and regulated so stringently, shouldn’t we be able to be confident about the product we purchase? It seems it’s getting to the point that more stringent testing is required by testing facilities that meet the proper guidelines to do so. Affordable public testing would also be a great way to hold others accountable. When it comes to cannabis, it’s no secret many of us love it. But, we’d like to ask growers out there to hold the mold and grow cannabis the right way! Perhaps the future of the quality of cannabis truly does rely on the small craft growers that have kept it alive for so long.

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