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What to do when marijuana edibles reach expiration dates

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DENVER -- We all know what to do when we find expired milk in refrigerators. But what about expired marijuana edibles?

As Colorado's burgeoning pot industry continues to grow, it's a question some have asked.

Usually, you can do the smell test to figure out if something has gone bad.

The answers might not be so obvious when it comes to expired marijuana edibles. But Denver's Department of Environmental Health said many of the same rules apply.

Whether it's milk that has gone bad or an edible whose expiration date has come and gone, both generally won't make you sick.

"When it's past its prime, it's going to develop spoilage organisms, things that might cause mold, an off taste. But those are not the same types of organisms that make us sick," said Danica Less, spokeswoman with the Denver Department of Environmental Health.

Instead, expired edibles won't be at their peak of freshness or quality. But what about THC, the ingredient that induces a high?

"The THC level pretty much remains the same. What changes after the expiration date is the consistency of the edible product itself," said Stan Zislis, the owner of Silver Stem Fine Cannabis.

Still, he said he won't sell expired product. He said most vendors will pick it up and destroy it according to state regulator guidelines.

"Generally, it has to be ground up with general waste, rendered unusable," Zislis said.

But what about expired edibles at home? Just like spoiled milk or yucky yogurt, toss it in the trash.

But if you don't want to throw away good money on sometimes pricey pot products, Lee said you can freeze them and stop the clock to preserve the quality.

But some edible users said their goodies aren't around long enough to expire.

Lee said the organisms that make people sick like salmonella and E. coli come from contamination and not the natural process of decay.

So, generally, the most danger you'll find from expired edibles is breaking a tooth on a rock-hard gummy.

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