A Denver marijuana edibles company is being forced to pull their products from all dispensaries after a routine food safety inspection turned up some issues with the manufacturing process. Namely: using an old washing machine for hash making isn’t quite kosher in an industrial kitchen.
The company in question, At Home Baked, makes a line of do-it-yourself hash brownies. The hash is pre-mixed with the brownie powder. All you do is add water.
“The washing machine in question was, first of all, not designed for any type of food handling and then it was soiled, and it was not in great repair,” Danica Lee, Food Safety Section Manager at the Denver Department of Environmental Health, told The Denver Channel.
|Dirty parts of the washing machine used to make hash in a photo from state health inspectors.|
Words like ‘contaminated’ are pretty scary, though. And frankly, a lot of this is being blown out of proportion. Washing machines have been used to make hash for years now and only require a few modifications (if any) to work. The way they work is to use very large filter screen bags filled with herb and trim inside the machine that then agitates the mixture of pot, ice and water. The water is drained out the bottom and the hash is scraped from the filter bags. The machine is purely used stir up the mix.
At Home Baked owner A.J. “Hashman” Ashkar points out that the washing machine method is so popular that it’s been okayed in dozens of facilities by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division.
“The way that we were processing was fine by the medical marijuana enforcement division, in fact, the most accepted way to process is by utilizing the machines and we know many ,many companies that do that,” he said.
|Mold in a drainage tube in photos taken by Denver food inspectors.|
Not to apologize for At Home Baked, though. To be fair to inspectors, some of the photos showed some pretty questionably-clean equipment for a commercial enterprise. The used washing machine looks like it could have used some regular pull-apart maintenance. I imagine there’s not much they can do when they find residue, rust and mold in processing equipment. And mold can be a very real issue with icewater hash if it isn’t dried and cured properly.
Regardless of whether or not any of the products were contaminated – and Ashkar points out that not a single person has reported getting sick from At Home Baked foods – any dispensary carrying the products have to throw them out at their own expense.