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New Pesticides Approved for Colorado Cannabis Industry

With the updated list comes more clarity on what substances cannabis growers can use.

New Pesticides Approved For Colorado Cannabis Industry
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The list of pesticides approved for use on cannabis and cannabis products in Colorado has officially been updated by state regulators. Now, AG PAA, Mite-Phite ZM, Fortify Miticide, and VaRx Brand MaxRx have been added to the list of approved pesticides that growers in the state can use. 

The list is provided by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, a group that reviews pesticides when it receives requests from the community to look into what can or can’t be used. Since there are no federal standards while cannabis is still illegal, this is the best vetting system the state has so far, until more regulations are in place. Approved pesticides will be labeled with the phrasing,“We have reviewed that we believe could be used on marijuana without violating 35-10-117(1)(i).” 

Right now, there are over 400 pesticides approved for use in the state. There are no official Environmental Protection Agency standards in place for cannabis nationwide, so for organic cannabis certification in Colorado and other states, groups like the Organic Cannabis Association work on programs to certify growers who only use certain products. 

Organic Is A Loaded Term 

In general, however, there are still definitely some gray areas when it comes to cannabis pesticide certifications. But Colorado now has more options to stay compliant, since more pesticides have been approved. It truly is up to the consumer to look into what is being used and to prioritize organic cannabis if that is a standard they need to meet. Still, many disagree with what is being considered organic in the cannabis industry. 

“The word ‘organic’ is being used inappropriately by people who are using very toxic chemicals. There’s no governing agency that is regulating that,” said John Paul Maxfield, co-founder of the Organic Cannabis Association in Denver, to Denver Post in a 2015 interview. “In the absence of a body coming through and branding organic cannabis, that term can be used by everybody, even if it’s not done properly.”

In the past, there have been scandals and recalls in Colorado in association with using pesticides like fungicide myclobutanil (used in Eagle 20), the insecticide imidacloprid and the miticide abamectin (used in Avid) on cannabis products. While the long, confusing chemical names may only mean something to those intimately familiar with cannabis and the industry, the use of these pesticides has caused some real trouble in the past for cannabis growers and manufacturers. In 2015, Edipure recalled 20,000 packages of their edibles in Colorado, and Gaia’s Garden recalled 8,000, all because of the pesticides that were used in the cultivation of the cannabis. 

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While the struggle to properly regulate cannabis in Colorado is by no means over, or even close to being over, there is now more clarity on which products can and cannot be used. Now, with four more pesticides being available for use in the state of Colorado, those growing cannabis will have more options.

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