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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Cannabis' Category


Colorado Consumers Sue Over Illegal Pesticides in Marijuana

(Beyond Pesticides October 8, 2015) Colorado’s largest pot grower, LivWell Inc., was sued over illegal pesticide use in a law suit filed Monday in Denver District Court. Two marijuana users, one of whom suffers from a brain tumor and holds a medical card to use the product, allege that the grower used a potentially dangerous pesticide in the production of marijuana they later purchased. The suit asks for an undisclosed amount of damages and also claims that an implied promise to consumers was breached when LivWell sold high-grade and medical-grade marijuana treated with unapproved pesticides to consumers. The main pesticide at issue in this case is myclobutanil  or Eagle 20, which is the same product that led to tens thousands of plants being  quarantined last spring after testing positive for the  fungicide during a routine inspection by the Denver Department of Environmental Health. Growers claim that without the fungicide their plants are endangered. The 40-page lawsuit claims that myclobutanil, when heated, breaks down to “poisonous hydrogen cyanide” and alleges that consumers who smoke marijuana treated with Eagle 20 ingest the gas.” While neither plaintiff alleges they were sickened from ingesting the marijuana they purchased at LivWell, both claim they would […]



Colorado Attorney General Takes a Stand to Protect Organic

(Beyond Pesticides September 23, 2015) Last week in Colorado the attorney general (AG) began an investigation into the use of the word “organic” by marijuana businesses operating within the state amid complaints of misrepresentation by consumers. This decision to look into potential misuse of the term “organic” follows on the heels of a recall  for marijuana plants that was voluntarily issued by two Denver marijuana growing facilities after city health officials found unapproved pesticides on their crops during routine testing. The AG’s office decided to review this issue after complaints from consumers that merchants are misrepresenting their products when they claim they are “organic” or “organically grown.” State marijuana license records in Colorado show that 29 businesses ””growers, retailers and dispensaries”” use the word “organic” in their name. Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, and use of the term “organic” is federally regulated, a licensed cannabis business cannot be certified as organic no matter its practices. As such, city and state officials as well as industry insiders argue that no marijuana business in Colorado can technically use the word in its name or in selling its product. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “Marijuana may not […]



Colorado Warned of Its Illegal Allowance of Pesticides in Marijuana Production

(Beyond Pesticides, July 15, 2015) Yesterday, Beyond Pesticides sent a letter to the Colorado Department of Agriculture  (CDA) urging officials  to reconsider their latest position on pesticide use in  cannabis cultivation  and warning them of potential violations of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) that would likely arise moving forward. This letter was written in response to recent actions by CDA that encourage stakeholders to pursue exemptions for highly toxic pesticides and other indications that the state intends to allow the use of other pesticides under general label language that does not specifically address use on marijuana. Both of these approaches violate federal law and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. Given the potential legal challenges associated with approving toxic pesticides for use on cannabis, Beyond Pesticides encourages CDA to allow within the state only the use of pesticides of a character unnecessary for regulation, which fall under section 25(b) of FIFRA. For several months, government entities in the state have been at odds with marijuana growers over whether or not pesticides can be used to cultivate their crops. In early June, CDA published a list of pesticides it  believed, through general labeling language, may be used on cannabis, […]



Denver Pushes Back Against Pesticide Use in Marijuana Production

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2015) Last week in Denver, Colorado a U.S. District Court judge handed down a preliminary decision that may  dramatically alter how marijuana is grown across the state. On Friday, Judge John Madden sided with the Denver Department of Environmental Health (DDOH), refusing to lift a quarantine that has been keeping tens of thousands of marijuana plants off the market since March over suspected use of certain pesticides. In the absence of federal regulations governing pesticide use on marijuana plants, as highlighted in a report written by Beyond Pesticides this March, the state-level decisions coming out of Colorado on this issue have the potential to set important precedents for pesticide regulation and pot production in other states that have legalized marijuana. The plaintiff, marijuana producer Organic Greens, took the fight to court to ask a judge to determine whether Denver health officials and state agriculture inspectors have the right to quarantine and test marijuana they believe has been improperly contaminated with certain pesticides. On March 25, DDOH found “sufficient evidence that marijuana plants or marijuana product on the [Organic Greens] premises may have been contaminated by pesticides that have been determined by the Colorado Department of Agriculture […]



California Releases New Guidelines for Pesticide Use on Marijuana

(Beyond Pesticides, April 14, 2015) Last week California released its first guidelines for the management of pests and use of pesticides on cannabis. Cannabis cultivation in California, particularly in the northern areas of the state, has been associated with rampant use of heavy construction equipment and pesticides to clear land and control pests, resulting in contamination and runoff in local streams, and widespread poisoning of non-target wildlife. Although growing cannabis on public lands in California  has always been illegal, private production of the plant in environmentally sensitive sites has gone largely unregulated due the plant’s illegal status under federal law, but legally allowed  in the state under California’s Compassionate Use Act. According to Beyond Pesticides’ recent report on state pesticide use on cannabis, California was one of six states silent on pesticide use on marijuana. Until now, the only discussion of the issue came from a 2012 report from the California Research Bureau, commissioned by CA Assembly member Linda Halderman, M.D. The report indicated that because no pesticide products were registered for use on cannabis by EPA, and given that applying a pesticide for an unregistered use is illegal under federal pesticide law, the state could confiscate any medical marijuana […]



As States Legalize Marijuana, Study Finds Uneven Pesticide Use Restrictions on Growing Practices

(Beyond Pesticides, March 12, 2015) Marijuana may be legal in your state for medicinal and recreational use, but are toxic pesticides used in its production? A study released today of the 23 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana finds a patchwork of state laws and evolving policy that define allowed pesticide use and management practices in cannabis production. This variety of state law is occurring in the absence of federal registration of pesticide use for cannabis production because of its classification as a narcotic under federal law. The investigation, Pesticide Use in Marijuana Production: Safety Issues and Sustainable Options, evaluates the state laws governing pesticide use in cannabis production where it is legalized. “The use of pesticides in the cultivation of cannabis has health implications for those growing the crop, and for users who are exposed to toxic residues through inhalation, ingestion, and absorption through the skin,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “The good news is that five states and DC have adopted rules that require marijuana to be grown with practices that prevent the use of pesticides. State officials have an opportunity to restrict all pesticide use at the front end of […]