The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the use of 10 pesticides for hemp cultivation, nine of which are biopesticides and one is a conventional pesticide.
Four of the approved biopesticides are produced by Agro Logistic Systems, Inc., and all contain neem oil. Three are produced by Hawthorne Hydroponics, and two are produced by Marrone Bio Innovations; both of which are fungicides.
The conventional pesticide – which contains potassium salts from fatty acids – is also produced by Hawthorne.
As EPA receives additional applications to amend product labels to add use for hemp, the agency will process those applications on an ongoing basis and update this list, regulators said in a press release.
In October, the National Industrial Hemp Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation lobbied the EPA to approve the 10 pesticides for use in hemp production. The agency did not have to seek public comments before approving the pesticides because they were already legal for use on outdoor crops and “contain active ingredients for which EPA previously determined the residues will be safe under any reasonably foreseeable circumstances.”
The Hemp Council and Farm Bureau said that they “fully support EPA’s stated position that public notification is unnecessary for ‘future pesticide registration applications that are similar to these applications and that are expected to be submitted with more regularity.’” The groups called the swift approval of the pesticides “essential” to the industry as “key crop protection tools.”
There is research underway in two states – Arizona and California – to determine which pesticides, if any, should be used in their legalized cannabis markets; however, since cannabis remains federally illegal, the EPA cannot issue federal approvals for cannabis crop pesticides.
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