Two large Colorado edibles companies have voluntarily issued product recalls over concerns about banned pesticides.
Edipure recalled 20,000 packages of 16 different products, including Peanut Brittle, Raspberry Jellies, Sour Gummi Bears, Rainbow Belts and a variety of licorice that had been delivered to 40 retail stores, while Gaia’s Garden recalled 8,000 packages of 21 different products, including lozenges and drops already on shelves at 176 retail locations.
Consumers are advised to throw out the edibles or return them to stores and contact the producers.
Both edibles companies had purchased the cannabis used for food production earlier this year from TruCannabis, who issued their own recall earlier this October due to concerns over pesticide use. With no scientific studies to determine whether pesticides usually used on food crops are safe to be combusted and inhaled, the Colorado Department of Agriculture proposed a rule saying they do not recommend “the use of any pesticide not specifically tested, labeled and assigned a set tolerance for use on marijuana because the health effects on consumers are unknown.”
Scandals and product liability lawsuits over the use of the fungicide myclobutanil (used in Eagle 20), the insecticide imidacloprid and the miticide abamectin (used in Avid) have tainted the legal cannabis industry, which was formerly associated with environmentally friendly values.
Since cannabis is still federally illegal, the Environmental Protection Agency has not issued any guidance on how to safely administer pesticides to pot plants, leaving Colorado to craft regulations without any reliable data on safety thresholds for pesticide content in cannabis flowers, extracts or edibles.
While the “organic” label is technically a federally regulated term that cannot legally be applied to cannabis products, there are producers who care about the environment and consumer health, such as Honest Marijuana, Colorado Harvest Company and Maggie’s Farm, which has been Clean Green certified. Much like the organic foods movement, it’s up to consumers to demand chemical-free, pesticide-free cannabis products, and the market will respond.
The newly-formed Organic Cannabis Association is currently rolling out a program to certify growers who are using environmentally safe cultivation methods.