Out of all the states that have legalized adult-use of cannabis, Oregon currently has the toughest pesticide testing laws.
However, a newly proposed revision would reduce the restrictions on pesticides, causing the allowable limits of pesticides in marijuana to be increased.
The two major changes being proposed to Oregon’s pesticide testing:
- Lessening the regulations on concentrate testing — instead of every batch being tested for pesticides, processors would only need to submit a single random sample per year.
- Reducing the required amount of cannabis flower needed per test batch from 33% to 20%.
Proponents of these changes claim the lack of edibles and concentrates on recreational shelves is a result of the long turnaround time for lab results, and that these proposed changes will allow processors to get their products to retail faster. But “after delving deeper into the issue, it appears the current shortage is being driven by pesticide contaminated cannabis,” reports Keith Mansur with the Oregon Cannabis Connection.
According to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), 10% of cannabis flower and 26% of concentrates are failing tests for pesticides.
But it gets worse, after talking with labs around the state, Mansur reports that the estimation for failed concentrate tests due to pesticides is more likely close to 50% and 70%; the OHA only used reported failures in collecting their data but many tests were conducted as a pre-screen and never reported to the OHA. When pesticide-covered cannabis is extracted, those pesticides concentrate in the oil as well, creating a poisonous cocktail.
The majority of cannabis producers and processors are extremely proud of Oregon’s strict pesticide laws, boasting that the Beaver State cultivates the cleanest, earth-friendly cannabis in the country. Rodger Voelker is a chemist and lab director of OG Analytical, he told Noelle Crombie of the Oregonian that “[These new rules are] a complete evisceration of everything we put into place.”
Strict pesticide testing ensures consumers are consuming a clean, harm-free product. It keeps cultivators honest and encourages them to practice organic cultivation methods that protect consumers and the environment.
Testing flowers and concentrates for pesticides is extremely important — while some pesticides might be deemed safe to consume orally, there is no reliable scientific information on how these pesticides react when combusted and consumed.
Pesticide usage does not only affect the end consumer. Allowing the spraying of pesticide infects local ecosystems — the land, water, animals, neighbors, and children.
Cannabis is a plant that heals the earth. Strict pesticide laws on cannabis are crucial for ensuring cannabis cultivation does not leave a negative impact on the environment.
Andrew Ourso, manager of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP), announced these new rules are expected to go into place June 1, 2017, barring any objections from Oregon citizens. “The agency will evaluate the public comment,” Ourso explains, “If it comes out that this is not something the public wants, the agency won’t adopt.”
If you support strict pesticide laws, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you want clean cannabis!
Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett