Recently, the Oregon Health Authority has decided to require that each batch of cannabis product produced by a company (flower, edible, etc.), must be tested and in compliance with the state’s rules regarding pesticides. The recent news comes as Oregon’s temporary rules regarding pesticides use were about to expire, and they needed to implement permanent ones.
In Maine, we look to lawmakers to draft and implement appropriate laws regarding pesticide use. Maine medical marijuana producers currently must adhere to fairly loose rules regarding pesticide use, broken into four categories – Is the product registered for use in Maine? Is there an EPA Reg registration number? Is the product labeled for use on “all plants”; “other plants”; bedding plants, unspecified plants or crops? And, does the label prohibit use in greenhouses or indoors? These are very overarching categories that leave the consumer at risk. There is nothing regarding allowable limits, or outlawing the use of pesticides not meant for combustion.
Take California for instance. According to Steep Hill Labs, the largest and most respected testing facility on the west coast “84% of California cannabis isn’t fit for consumption.” Scary, right? What’s worse is how prevalent the use of a specific pesticide, myclobutanil, is in the cannabis industry. Myclobutanil is used in the mitigation of powdery mildew, which is a fungal disease that is very easy to get when growing cannabis, and is devastating to crops.
In a memo released by Steep Hill in October 2016, “Myclobutanil, typically sprayed on California grapes, almonds and strawberries, is legally listed as a ‘general use pesticide,’ but heating up the chemical, as is the case when smoking cannabis, converts Myclobutanil into Hydrogen Cyanide. Hydrogen Cyanide is a Schedule 3 substance under the Chemical Weapons Convention. Of paramount concern is the extremely high level of Myclobutanil detected in cannabis samples tested by Steep Hill, which is in excess of 65% of all samples.”
The only steps in a powdery mildew treatment program should be 1) Cut down and destroy all plants in the room/area 2) Clean and sanitize thoroughly 3) Replant and be cleaner next time. That’s it. Cannabis can be grown without needing to spray pesticides and fungicides. Cleanliness, proper room layout and control of environment. Maine’s medical marijuana industry is heralded as being one of, if not the best in the nation. It is up to us, Mainers, to ensure that we have the same reputation as adult-use unrolls.
Commentary by Kind&Co
Link to full High Times Magazine Article: