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Agricultural Worker Cleans Hands

Eddie Kopp

Cannabis consumers in Washington will have access to state-certified organic cannabis products as early as next year, The Stranger reports.

The plan is for the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) to establish an organic certification program that cannabis cultivators can use to exemplify their plants and growing process as safe, clean, and natural. The actual word “organic,” however, is controlled at the federal level and therefore cannot be used in conjunction with cannabis.

Hector Castro, a spokesperson for the WSDA, said that the word for describing organic cannabis in Washington could be just “certified.” The WSDA will be taking public comment on that term — and accepting suggestions for a different term — when the program’s final draft rules are released at a later date.

“The goal is to be able to begin offering the service next year, in 2019, and we’re on track right now to be able to do that.” — Hector Castro, WSDA spokesperson, in an interview with The Stranger

According to Castro, the certification program will be paid for by fees from farms who pay to be certified.

The WSDA standards for whether or not a cannabis crop is organic will likely mirror the standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.” — Excerpt from USDA.gov website

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