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Colorado: Marijuana Pesticide Regulations Deprioritized

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Colorado regulators have known since 2012 that some marijuana in the state is grown with dangerous pesticides, but pressure from the cannabis industry and lack of guidance from the federal government delayed their regulatory attempts, and they ultimately decided on a less restrictive approach than originally planned.

Three years of emails and records, along with dozens of interviews, show state regulators struggled with the issue while the marijuana industry protested that proposed pesticide limits would leave their crops vulnerable to parasites and disease, report David Migoya and Ricardo Baca at The Denver Post.

As state officials were preparing a list of allowable pesticides on marijuana last year, officials at the Colorado Department of Agriculture stopped the process -- under pressure from the cannabis industry, according to The Post.

"This list has been circulated among marijuana producers and has been met with considerable opposition because of its restrictive nature," wrote Mitch Yergert, the CDA's plant industry director, shortly after the April 2014 decision. "There is an inherent conflict with the marijuana growers' desire to use pesticides other than those" that are least restrictive.

Colorado: Denver Cracks Down On Pesticides In Marijuana Products

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Denver health officials on Tuesday started inspecting and quarantining hundreds of cannabis products because their labels listed pesticides not approved by the state for use on marijuana.

The city's move came about six months after officials had quarantined 100,000 plants at 11 grow facilities due to concerns about pesticide use, report David Migoya and Ricardo Baca at The Denver Post.

No safety standards exist for pesticide use on marijuana. Since cannabis is illegal under federal law, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates pesticides, has never established any limits.

However, since marijuana is legal in Colorado, the state Department of Agriculture there has created a listed of allowed pesticides, as has its counterpart in Washington state, where recreational pot is also legal.

The quarantines were put on Mountain High Suckers and MMJ America after Denver's Department of Environmental Health late Monday warned businesses that products with labels reflecting the use of banned pesticides should be removed from shelves and destroyed, or returned to the manufacturers.

Colorado law requires all cannabis product labels to list pesticides, contaminants, fungicides and herbicides that were used, from germination to packaging.

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