PHOENIX – Officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services announced on June 23 that multiple marijuana establishments and dispensaries have started a voluntary recall of a number of marijuana products due to possible contamination with Salmonella or Aspergillus, or mold.
8 Marijuana products affected
According to a statement released by ADHS on June 23, a total of eight Marijuana products are subjected to the voluntary recall.
Of the eight items, three of them are being recalled for potential Salmonella contamination. They are:
- Harvest Platinum 14g Pre Pack Indica Flower (Glazed Apricot Gelato) with Batch Number CVGH210406HB
- EHF (Elephant Head Farms) HAT Trick #17 Flower with Batch Number 030821F1H12
- Mohave Cannabis Preroll with Batch Number LAB $454 PR
ADHS officials say the other five products being recalled are possibly contaminated with mold. They are identified as:
- Harvest Platinum 14g Pre Pack Sativa Flower (Tiger Haze) with Batch Number CVGH210406HM (L)
- Modern Flower 3.5g Pre Pack Indica Flower (Orange Acai) with Batch Number CVGH2104210HI
- Sol Flower Dispensaries and Establishments Tahiti Lime with Batch Number 0121TILM.33.WT
- Tru Infusion Flower Caked Up Cherries with Batch Number 0326R12CUC
- The Pharm Chemistry #1 (HD 3/24/21) with Batch Number Chemistry #1 1 B15B.R1-10
How did ADHS officials discover the problem?
Officials say their laboratory auditors determined, during a routine inspection of an independent third-party laboratory that marijuana samples that tested positive for Salmonella, as well as marijuana samples that tested positive for Aspergillus, were reported to dispensaries and marijuana establishments as free of contaminants.
“Once ADHS discovered the positive test results, the establishments involved were notified and took immediate action to work with all distribution and retail partners to remove any potentially impacted products,” read a portion of the statement.
Has anyone gotten sick from these products?
ADHS officials say to date, no illnesses have been reported, and that the recall announcement was made out of an abundance of caution.
“Patients who have purchased potentially contaminated products should not ingest, inhale, or otherwise consume them and should dispose of them. If you have already consumed any of the products and have any of the symptoms described below, please contact your healthcare provider or seek emergency care in the event of an emergency,” read a portion of the statement.
According to ADHS, symptoms from ingesting salmonella usually start within six hours to six days after infection and last four to seven days. Ingestion can happen inadvertently after handling Salmonella-contaminated products:
- Diarrhea (that can be bloody)
- Stomach cramps
- Some people may also have nausea, vomiting, or a headache
More information: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/salmonella-symptoms.html
“Aspergillus can cause allergic reactions or infection, usually in people already sick with something else. Symptoms range from asthma or cold like symptoms to fever and chest pain among many others.”
A full list of Aspergillus symptoms can be found on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/aspergillosis/symptoms.html
More About Marijuana Growing
Legal marijuana growing has increased since legalization, though many illegal operations still exist as well. Legal marijuana growing requires compliance with the regulations, permitting, and testing requirements set up by the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), Cannabis Regulation Authority (CRA), and other departments within the state government, along with the paying of taxes on sales. Localities can still ban commercial growing and retail operations, and many have. However, as of September 2019, nearly 900 cannabis sellers have been licensed by the state to operate, including 187 dispensaries within the Los Angeles city limits.
To supply this growing market, both selling establishments and independent growers often use what is known as a marijuana grow houses. These are like indoor greenhouses, with artificial lighting, temperature and humidity controls, irrigation systems, and access for workers. This is typically seen as the best way to control the growth of cannabis plants and produce optimal yields, since variable outdoor weather, temperatures, and the typically dry conditions in southern California are not always conducive to plant growth.
Typical Growing Process and Conditions
In the aftermath of legalization, many new growing businesses have been set up, often growing and selling on the same site or through affiliated businesses. While many operators consider the exact conditions, timing, and other aspects of their growing to be trade secrets, there is much advice available from industry publications and websites for entrepreneurs looking to get into the commercial marijuana growing and selling industry. That’s not exactly the purpose of this article, so we’ll just speak in general terms.
Mold and Mildew Problems Can Develop
Naturally, in an environment that is designed to be optimal for the growth of cannabis plants, other things will also find an ideal home to grow. Mold and mildew can both take hold in marijuana grow houses and spread to the plants. Mold is caused by mold spores of various types taking up residence in a friendly environment. The high humidity, warmer-than-room-temperature, light, and dark cycle environment of a marijuana grow house is conducive to the growth of many different kinds of mold. These typically are the result of spores that are brought in from the outside – either by employees, through ventilation, or by other vectors (soil, fertilizer, water, etc.). Mildew is similar to mold, caused by fungal spores – the difference is largely semantic, in that mildew is typically white, whereas molds are a range of colors.
Mildew and molds are common problems in agriculture of all types, and not just limited to cannabis growing. In general, mildews are white, and grow in a flat manner, whereas molds are a range of colors, and can grow out to some height from the surface on which they are growing. White powdery mildew is the most common type of affliction that will be found on marijuana plants, though other molds and mildews can also affect them. Regardless of whether mildew, mold, or both are affecting a plant crop, they are undesirable in a marijuana grow house, and steps need to be taken to eliminate them and prevent them from recurring.