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Colorado Lawmakers Reject Organic Cannabis Certification Bill

Colorado lawmakers rejected a bill that would have created an organic certification for cannabis, according to an Associated Press report.

The proposal was written to help consumers easily determine whether cannabis had been produced without pesticides. “Cannabis consumers, or tomato consumers, or any product consumer wants to know what goes into what they’re using,” said Ben Gelt, of the Denver-based Organic Cannabis Association.

The bill was defeated 4-3 in a Senate committee Tuesday. Some lawmakers were concerned that the certification, which would have been the first of its kind, would have led consumers to believe that cannabis is harmless.

“It will mislead people to thinking marijuana doesn’t have any health effects, that it’s okay.” said Sen. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder). “It kind of puts a stamp of approval on it.”

Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver), who sponsored the bill, disagreed: “Does that label mean there are no health effects? That’s it’s healthy, it’s wholesome? . . . I don’t think anyone is going to be under any false illusions.”

Others feared that U.S. Department of Agriculture would take issue with the state if it began certifying cannabis crops as organic—organic certification is regulated at the federal level, where cannabis remains illegal.

Concerns about pesticide use in Colorado cannabis were sparked last year, when Denver health authorities took thousands of plants from growers who, authorities suspected, were using banned pesticides.

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