Coleen Elliott

Colorado Bill Would Establish Labels Specific to Pesticide-Free Cannabis

A bill proposed in the Colorado state legislature would mandate the creation of a label informing consumers whether or not cannabis products they purchase have been grown using pesticides.

HB16-1079, proposed by Reps. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont) and KC Becker (D-Boulder), would require the Colorado Department of Agriculture to design a system for companies to have their pesticide-free cannabis products certified as such under a state-sanctioned label.

A significant string of recalls for Colorado cannabis products have caused more than a few headlines lately, many of which were the unfortunate results of miscommunication between retailers and growers. Some growers have admitted to using pesticides that they did not know were not allowed under Colorado’s cannabis legalization law. Most product recalls have been voluntary, which is a good sign for the industry.

Devin Liles, top grower for The Farm in Boulder, warns that — though he agrees that a pesticide-free certification would likely benefit consumers — “As [the bill] is written, it runs the risk of perpetuating the common misconception that organic is synonymous with pesticide-free. There are organic pesticides that are comprised of essential oils that are perfectly safe to use, not necessarily in… flower development.”

Marijuana cannot legally be considered “organic,” because the guidelines for such a certification are established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — which, as a federal institution, does not recognize cannabis cultivation as a legal activity.

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