Marijuana-grow mold study prompts mislabeled Denver Post letter to the editor with real points

Categories: Marijuana

Thumbnail image for marijuana home grow square.jpg
This week, the Denver Post published a letter criticizing a recent study on mold in indoor marijuana grows from what appeared to be an employee of the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division. Turns out he wasn't -- and as a result, the MMED asked the Post to publish a correction, which appeared today. But despite that, the letter makes some very good points.

The article that prompted the letter covered a press conference featuring officials at the Colorado Drug Investigators Association and doctors at National Jewish Health whose study showed extremely high levels of mold exist in dirty indoor grows. Though none of the thirty grows were tied to legal medical cannabis center operations, officials still made the connection between the two.
We called the study clown science
, as it doesn't accurately reflect clean, legal patient or commercial grows. And we weren't alone. Here's the letter that appeared in the Post yesterday:

This story noted that police and firefighters were being exposed to harmful mold in non-medical marijuana grows. As a badged employee of the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, I have witnessed firsthand the meticulous measures taken by growers at state-licensed facilities to ensure mold-free, clean environments.

If Amendment 64 gets a fair chance and passes this November, you can expect that same level of quality, cleanliness and, above all, regulation to in time take over every aspect of the now illegal marijuana system in the state. It seems like a simple choice to stop throwing brave men and women into the moldy wood chipper in the name of the war on drugs, or we could do something different, something bold.

Christopher Hughes, Thornton

Only thing is, Christopher Hughes doesn't work for MMED; no one named Christopher Hughes is a current employee, nor has anyone with that name ever been on the staff. MMED spokeswoman Julie Postlethwait said the department had since asked the Post for a retraction, noting that the MMED does not take positions on political issues such as the one created by the recent mold study. And today, the paper printed the following:

Because of an editor's error, a letter-writer's affiliation with the state's medical-marijuana industry was misrepresented in the letters to the editor on Page 15A on Monday. Christopher Hughes is licensed to work in the industry but is not employed by the Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division.

By the way, the MMED doesn't inspect for mold right now. Postlethwait said that sanitary requirements for dispensaries will be a future priority for the the agency, but she added that the MMED inspectors are focusing on issues such as plant count and the number of security cameras in a dispensary, not mold and mildew.

But that doesn't mean the letter was completely off-base. Postlethwait also noted that none of the 213 centers currently licensed by the state would have been approved if they did not meet local zoning requirements -- many of which include health requirements such as mold remediation and prevention. In Denver, for example, optional premise cultivation licensees have to meet the approval of Denver Fire and the office of Environmental Health.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Amendment 64's lead in poll won't lead to complacency, campaign says" and "Marijuana grows: Bad-as-meth-labs study based on clown science?"

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I've been checking out many of the dispensaries & have found that many use only organic soils & have dedicated groomers that constantly monitor the plants. In those any mold or pests would be removed.

As in all products, you need to look at what you buy before your purchase.


A Patient's health comes last... why am I not surprised. As I have mentioned, there is a lawsuit in the works about MMCs over using pesticides and fertilizers in their grows. It is coming MMCs. YOU ARE ON NOTICE! Oh and a few edibles companies are in the crosshairs too.


Please, please, please post ONE of these supposed 213 MMC licenses that the state has granted. Why do you refuse to followup on this????


Apparently that "future priority" was secondary to these useless idiots leasing 24 completely unneeded SUVs. Useless expenditure and complete incompetence (oh yeah, don't forget the ever important plant count, you fucking asshats) come before patient safety or anything resembling quality control.


By the time these morons finally manage to locate their own asses, 64 will have passed and changed the game again. 


The MMED is so blatantly incompetent it boggles the mind.


Commercial grows are full of bugs/pesticides and mold/mold inhibitors. If the Health Dept. checked out the quality, like they do with food, many commercial grows would be closed. When people think of regulations, they jump to the conclusion it will make things safer, not true with the MMCED. The truth is that most those deals in dispensaries are for highly contaminated and/or problematic weed. The MMCED is spending their money counting plants like cops. As long as the industry pays the fee and pass the plant count, they get to sell all the moldy bug spray people will buy. Not all MMCs will sell you moldy bug spray weed, but the ones that do will pretend they don't. Education and a jewelers loop goes a long way. If your bud crackles, sharply closes your airways or rapidly induces headache, contamination could be present.


Twenty bucks says he was lookin' at his lanyard and/or card issued to industry workers. Both have the words "Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division" written on them. Even the holographic authenticator is the seal for the Dept. of Revenue's Criminal Enforcement Division. 

The gent' probably looked at his lanyard and thought he worked for the MMED. I mean, it says so right on his lanyard. ;) 


 @Patient Why do you continue to refuse to request the license yourself? Why do you think it's WB's job to get information YOU want to see? Your posts are quite trollish it seems.

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