State issues health advisory after testing marijuana from Steamboat business
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A Steamboat Springs marijuana business owner is hopeful a second round of tests will prove he does not use a prohibited pesticide at his grow operations.
On Friday, the Colorado Department of Revenue sent out a public health and safety advisory for some marijuana grown by Rocky Mountain Remedies.
Tests by the Colorado Department of Agriculture showed that there was a pesticide called Avermectin Bla found in some of the marijuana.
“I know that we didn’t spray it,” RMR co-owner Kevin Fisher said. “If we sprayed it, we would spray it at all of our grows.”
Fisher said none of the impacted marijuana, which includes both medical and recreational, was ever sold.
The Department of Revenue issued the warning specifically for marijuana packaging labeled m206larryog9.11.17, m206jacktheripper8.21.17, r206goldenkush9.11.17 and m206larryog9.11.17.
“That product’s not out there,” Fisher said. “It hasn’t been sold.”
The Department of Revenue frequently sends out the notices when they suspect there may be a problem with marijuana.
“Consumers who have these affected products in their possession should return them to the medical center from which they were purchased so they can be properly disposed of,” the advisory states.
Fisher said that on June 27, all six of his growing facilities were inspected by the Department of Agriculture.
“We’ve always been ahead of the curve,” Fisher said of the state’s marijuana regulations.
In one facility, Fisher said the inspectors took samples from a number of batches and then combined them for testing.
Fisher said the test showed 44 parts per million of Avermectin Bla.
“I don’t have mites,” Fisher said.
Fisher said he suspects the Avermectin Bla might have came from cloned plants that had been properly acquired from a third-party vendor.
It is not unusual for the state to send out advisories specifically about marijuana found to contain Avermectin Bla.
After reviewing advisories from 2015, Thecannabist.co website identified Abamectin and the avermectin chemical family as one of the five most common banned pesticides found in recalled marijuana products in Denver.
The website reported abamectin was found in the Avid and Lucid pesticide brand.
The Pesticide Action Network classifies the dangers of abamectin as acute toxicity and a development or reproductive toxin.
Fisher said RMR did an internal investigation and found no employees were using Avermectin Bla.
“They’d be gone,” Fisher said. “We expect to be totally vindicated.”
Fisher expects to see the results from a second round of testing in the next couple of weeks.
The total weight of the marijuana in question is about six pounds.
“If they tell me to throw it out, I’ll throw it away,” he said.