How much organic cannabis is filling marijuana bags in your dispensary? Scrutiny over the marijuana industry’s use of pesticides has consumers on the lookout for better bud, spurring growers to switch over to organic cultivation methods.
How many growers are taking advantage?
According to a 2016 survey, 60 percent of wholesale cultivators stated they are filling their grow bags with organic product, with an additional 17 percent using chemical-free methods on at least half of the cannabis they cultivate. Twenty percent of growers don’t cultivate organic product at all.
Why marijuana might not be as clean as its labeling suggests
Legitimately labeled organic marijuana bags may not be quite as prolific as the study suggests, however, as marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, thus making it impossible for U.S. cultivators to get a true “organic” designation. With limited oversight, it’s quite possible some growers are claiming to ship an organic product when what they’re actually producing is falling short of organic certification requirements.
Past recalls have led to consumer and lawmaker scrutiny
Both medical and recreational users are seeking out pesticide-free products, with the issue brought to the attention of the public following multiple pesticide-related product recalls in the state of Colorado in late 2015. Who’s to blame? Potentially unsafe levels of the pesticide imidacloprid, banned from cannabis cultivation by Colorado’s State Department of Agriculture, later discovered in lab tests by marijuana product manufactures. A whopping 31,000 products were affected by the voluntary recall.
Trust by association?
Several companies and organizations in the marijuana industry, including The Organic Cannabis Association in Colorado, are looking to offer organic certification in those meeting the necessary criteria. The growing concern over marijuana bags containing dangerously pesticide-laden products is leading to regulatory changes in cannabis carrying states nationwide.
New regulations on the horizon
New testing regulations and quality control rules, a result of product recalls, are expected to create a shortage of cannabis and subsequent price hikes in Colorado and Oregon. Markets new to the industry including Nevada and Massachusetts already have regulations in place, and growing pesticide concerns in other states may result in the implementation of similar testing and quality control requirements elsewhere. The industry itself is split on the use of pesticides and the types that should be allowable, with some marijuana growers saying they should be avoided altogether.
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