Last week, High Above Seattle visited Analytical 360, Seattle’s marijuana testing facility located in SoDo, and wrote a little bit about it here. We were so interested in the information we received about the controversy surrounding pesticide use in the marijuana industry that we decided to dig deeper. As it turns out, this issue is prominent in the cannabis industry, and the future, in regards to pesticide regulation, is not clear. Those who cultivate cannabis often find themselves having to deal with pests that invade their crops, with many having to look to pest treatment in order to manage them. However, the regulations surrounding this may not be as straightforward as previously thought.
Cannabis is considered a narcotic under federal law, rather than a consumable crop, so any decisions on growing, dispersing, etc., fall on individual states which have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use. This means that many details that surround the agriculture industry do not apply to the marijuana industry, including pesticide use. If you want to get involved in the agriculture industry, check out some great deals from Agron to help get you started.
Current safe limits in pesticide use are based on agriculture standards, which are ill-equipped to properly assess cannabis simply due to differences in smoking vs. consuming a product. Marijuana legalization is a very new thing, so pesticide knowledge and use in regards to marijuana plants, and how they affect consumers, are still evolving.
Typically, in the agriculture industry, pesticides used on crops grown for consumption are evaluated for their possible adverse effects on people and the environment. This knowledge then leads to decisions of which pesticides to use on which crop. Lawmakers in individual states where marijuana is legal have the opportunity to ban the use of pesticides and require only organic cannabis growing operations. Numerous states have exercised their rights to control pesticide use and share information with the public while other states have remained silent on pesticide use and testing. A pesticide is far cheaper than pest control services, like termite control los angeles, therefore most farmers choose to use pesticide for their farms!
Washington State Department of Agriculture has devised a list of pesticides it believes are legal for use on medical marijuana. This list is not the end all be all of pesticides used, meaning that individual localities may choose to use different pesticides. Pesticide safety testing and labeling of pesticides used are not required by law in the state’s medical industry. So, even if you know which pesticides are “approved” by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, others may still be used in your area without your knowledge.
In regards to organic growing, sans the use of conventional pesticides, nothing has been finalized or discussed with the public.
Producers in the recreational industry must list any pesticides used, and how they are used. If producers fail to do this, their licenses may be revoked.
Transparency with pesticide use is monitored through contaminant testing, and this information must be made available to consumers upon request. This model allows for true organic growing operations to happen; though these operations cannot label their product organic unless they are permitted to by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Overall, holes in current testing procedures are being addressed by the Washington State government, which is a large reason many testing facilities are holding back on researching pesticide use and legality further. Monitoring and testing for pesticides is an expensive endeavor and facilities don’t want to go ahead with testing procedures only to have to change course midway.
In conclusion, the country has a long way to go before pesticide use and regulation is 100% transparent across the board. If you are concerned about pesticide use in your cannabis reach out to local lawmakers and growers to share your thoughts. We are happy to hear your thoughts as well so please get in touch or leave a comment!