When thinking of marijuana, the first thought isn’t usually about how it is grown and maintained, but rather where to get it or how to consume it. But there have been some very disconcerting reports on the growth and maintenance of cannabis that may cause you to think twice before consuming it.
Since cannabis cannot be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration because it is labeled as a Schedule I drug classification by the Drug Enforcement Administration on a federal level, marijuana farmers cannot be certified as organic growers which causes a disruption in what the general public can consume.
For example, Oregon has implemented requirements in order to test for pesticides in 33% of every batch of cannabis flowers and concentrates produced. But as of late, the Oregon Health Authority has proposed a change to these requirements by reducing the testing of concentrates to a single annual test, and lowering the test of cannabis flowers and concentrates to 20%. The Oregon Health Authority’s main incentive behind this is because of the current backlog of pesticide testing since there are only a few certified labs in the state.
These proposed changes are receiving backlash from extract producers and lab owners because relaxing these requirements will eventually lead to contaminated cannabis reaching the market. Some pesticides that have been found in cannabis concentrates and oils include Carbaryl, Avermectin, Myclobutanil, Bifenazate, Imidacloprid, and Etoxazole.
According to Roger Voelker, the lab director of OG Analytical stated “We find pesticides on about one third of flower and about seventy percent of concentrates.” And although they are not all dangerous, they definitely should not be made available for human consumption at high rates.
And still, Oregon is in a better place than most of the country regarding pesticide testing. In California, the city of Berkeley is the only city to place a requirement for concentrates having to meet a standard for the amount of pesticides found. The rest of California has no statewide regulations meaning that the farmers are allowed to do as they please, and there have been cases that have found that up to 80% of concentrates show signs of pesticides.
But as cannabis comes closer to legalization, we will see a huge spike in the number of restrictions for everyone in the industry.