beyond pesticides

Colorado: Beyond Pesticides Notifies State of Illegal Pesticide Use On Cannabis Crops

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Group Proposes Alternative Approach that Complies with State and Federal Law

Beyond Pesticides on Tuesday submitted a letter to the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) highlighting violations of federal law and encouraging CDA to implement an alternative approach to allowing the use of unregistered pesticides on cannabis crops throughout the state.

This letter was written in response to recent actions by CDA allowing the use of hazardous pesticides under general label language that does not specifically address use on marijuana, and encourages stakeholders to pursue exemptions for other highly toxic pesticides.

Both approaches violate federal law and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, according to Beyond Pesticides. Given the potential legal challenges associated with approving toxic pesticides for use on cannabis, Beyond Pesticides is "encouraging" CDA to allow within the state only the use of pesticides that fall under section 25(b) of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

For months the state has been at odds with marijuana growers and municipalities, most notably the City of Denver, over whether or not pesticides can be used to cultivate marijuana crops. In June, CDA published a list of pesticides it believes are available for use on cannabis, despite the fact none have been registered by EPA, as required by FIFRA.

U.S.: Study Finds Uneven Pesticide Restrictions On Growing Legal Marijuana

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Marijuana may be legal in your state for medicinal and recreational use, but are toxic pesticides used in its production?

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A study released on Wednesday of the 23 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana either for medical or recreational use finds a patchwork of state laws and evolving policy that define allowed pesticide use and management practices in cannabis production. This variety of state law is occurring in the absence of federal registration of pesticide use for cannabis production because of its classification as a narcotic under federal law.

The investigation, "Pesticide Use in Marijuana Production: Safety Issues and Sustainable Options," evaluates the state laws governing pesticide use in cannabis production where it is legalized.

"The use of pesticides in the cultivation of cannabis has health implications for those growing the crop, and for users who are exposed to toxic residues through inhalation, ingestion, and absorption through the skin," said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. "The good news is that five states and DC have adopted rules that require marijuana to be grown with practices that prevent the use of pesticides.

"State officials have an opportunity to restrict all pesticide use at the front end of a growing market, require the adoption of an organic system plan, and set a course to protect health and the environment," Feldman said.

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