Denver: Don’t use marijuana products made outside Colorado

Denver Environmental Health reported Wednesday seeing more of unauthorized CBD products being sold in the city in recent months.

Marijuana at Verde Natural's grow facility. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Marijuana must be sold in a childproof container, like above. (Mark/Flickr)
Marijuana must be sold in a childproof container, like above. (Mark/Flickr)

With more states legalizing marijuana and more companies springing up to meet demand, Denver reminded residents Wednesday that using cannabis products made outside of Colorado could be dangerous.

Vape juice, massage oil and other cannabidiol products made outside of the state are not regulated by any health authority and could be risky for people to use, according to Denver Environmental Health. The Denver agency reported Wednesday seeing more of these products being sold in the city in recent months.

Cannabinoid — commonly referred to as CBD — is not typically associated with getting users high the way tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC) does. However, CBD can still provide relief for pain, inflammation and other health issues, according to some researchers.

Even so, the Drug Enforcement Administration reiterated in December that CBD is considered an illegal substance at the federal level. Because of that, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies that typically create health and safety standards for products have not been regulating products with CBD.

The director of Denver’s Public Health Inspections Division, Danica Lee, said her agency is the only one regulating CBD products made and sold in Denver.

“We’re aware of 31 manufacturers of CBD products being sold in Denver to date, all of whom derive their CBD ingredient from hemp and not regulated marijuana,” Lee said. “We’ve reached out to all 31 of these manufacturers, and so far none has indicated that they are regulated by any health authority.”

Seven of the 31 manufacturers are based outside of Colorado and will have to stop selling in the state, she said.

Lee said her department is concerned about manufacturers’ interest in getting CBD concentrates from China and other countries, the lack of regulation of CBD product and the fact the products aren’t checked for pesticide contamination and other health risks.

“Since CBD products are frequently used for therapeutic purposes by ill individuals, Denver Environmental Health feels obligated to put meaningful public health and safety controls in place to try to ensure safe products,” Lee said.

DEH plans to reach out as needed to Colorado CBD manufacturers to learn about how they’re making their products. Manufacturers who cannot provide information to demonstrate that products were made using standardized processes in a safe facility could face penalties, restrictions or have to destroy their merchandise.

Lee said it’s unlikely law enforcement will enforce people not using CBD products from out of state and that her department’s main concern is ensuring public health. Later this month, she hopes residents will be able to go online to see a list of approved manufacturers. In the meantime, people can check CBD product labels to see if it says where and how the items were made or email phicomments@denvergov.org for more information.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.