No one wants harmful pesticides on their marijuana. I know that I don’t. It scares me to think of how much pesticides I consumed throughout the years via the unregulated marijuana market. I have to assume that with no regulations in place for so many years, and me puffing all the way, that I have inhaled some toxic stuff on more than one occasion.
The State of Washington announced yesterday that two state agencies will start testing marijuana for illegal pesticides. Not all pesticides are banned from being used on marijuana, but many are, and have been being used by growers for a long time. The changes will no doubt create some growing pains for some growers, and even some possible recalls, but regulating pesticides is an important part of ensuring that the marijuana products that people are consuming are safe. Below is a press release from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board about yesterday’s announcement:
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) today announced that they have an agreement in place that will allow the two agencies to work together cooperatively to test for illegal pesticides on marijuana. The WSLCB will pay for the specialized equipment necessary to test for pesticides and two WSDA employees who will be dedicated to carrying out pesticide tests. This agreement is for pesticide enforcement, random testing and testing when illegal pesticides are suspected.
“This agreement will significantly expand the state’s ability to test for pesticides,” said WSLCB Director Rick Garza. “Testing for pesticides is a complex and costly process. Labs need specialized equipment and highly-trained staff to carry out the tests. This agreement will satisfy those obstacles. It will send a strong message to any producer applying illegal pesticides that they will be caught and face significant penalties, including possible cancellation of the license.”
Under the terms of the agreement, WSDA will analyze an average of 75 samples per month covering a spectrum of 100 or more pesticides. The turnaround time for analytical results will be 15-30 calendar days.
WSDA is the state agency responsible for regulating pesticides used and distributed in Washington. Currently, marijuana growers may use any of the 330 pesticides that WSDA has determined are allowed for use on marijuana, as long as all applicable label directions are followed. The list of allowed pesticides is available on the WSDA’s Pesticide and fertilizer use on marijuana in Washington webpage. The list is also available by using the Washington State University Pesticide Information Center Online (PICOL) database.
“This new agreement will increase consumer protection in the emerging marijuana retail industry,” WSDA Director Derek Sandison said. “WSDA is pleased to partner with WSLCB to ensure that pesticide use in Washington’s marijuana production follows all applicable laws and regulations.”
The agreement will be initiated this fall. The full terms of the agreement can be found here.