UPDATE: Pesticide Crack Down for Legal Cannabis

Two months into the pesticide crackdown in Washington, here’s updates from the publicly released test results and current pesticide news around the industry. Find more info in our original blog, WANTED: Pesticide & Heavy Metals Testing and check out the Kush Marketplace for all your wholesale cannabis needs.

Update: “Ike’s OK” Program in WA

One of the biggest retail chains in Washington, Uncle Ike’s, made a big statement in October by taking products from their shelves and sending them in for further testing. Now into November there have been 10 different companies tested for pesticides, heavy metals, and microbials.. with two fails. Find all the results, statements, and details at ikes.com/ok/

October Results:

Oil Tycoon (Concentrate) – PASSED
Tikun Olam (Flower) – PASSED
Boggy Boon (Flower) – PASSED
Artizen (Flower) – PASSED
Flower Tree Gardens (Flower) – PASSED

November Results:

Soltice (Flower) – PASSED
House of Cultivar (Flower) – PASSED
Fire Bros (Flower) – PASSED
Exotikz (Concentrate) – FAILED, Pesticide – Piperonyl Butoxide
— Exotikz Retest (Concentrate) – PASSED
— Exotikz Retest (Flower) – PASSED
Sweetwater Farms (Flower) – FAILED, Pesticide – Carbaryl, & Bile Tolerant Gram Neg
— Sweetwater Farms Retest (Flower) – PASSED

Effects on the Marketplace

The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell era is over, as we expected last month demand for pesticide tested material is at an all time high. The question becomes, how much testing and who should pay? Some buyers are looking for a single pesticide test on the harvest, while others expect a test on each lot or strain. In the next few months buyers and sellers will have to meet in the middle, but one thing is for sure, increased testing is here to stay.

Who will pay for this testing? So far we are seeing buyers be more picky about requiring testing on everything from trim to packagable flower, but the prices haven’t gone up.. If this trend continues, the additional tests will eat at farms bottom line. Take advantage of the next few months, while most farms transition into testing their upcoming harvests, you can get a big head start by sending in for testing now. One test per strain would be ideal, and definitely try to get at least one test from each harvest period. If you can supply the pesticide tested flower while demand is at it’s highest, you’ll have the best shot at getting top dollar.

Colorado

New mandatory marijuana pesticide testing in Colorado is putting a financial squeeze on local cultivators to the tune of thousands of dollars in increased costs. The added expense is the latest financial blow to hit the state’s cultivators, which are already struggling with falling wholesale prices and a glut of product. Other states with recreational marijuana programs such as Oregon and California also require cultivators to submit their cannabis for pesticide testing, and in Colorado, the added cost amounts to $100-$120 to test each strain.

According to an article by Sean Miller from Organic Cannabis;

“Due to the legal limbo of cannabis at the federal level, enforced health regulations around cannabis growing practices are somewhere between extremely weak and virtually non-existent. What does this mean for the consumer?

Weak health regulations create a situation where companies eager to protect their monoculture cash crop can and will do anything necessary to ensure their investment comes to harvest. And in agriculture, this inevitably means heavy pesticide use. Studies in both Colorado and Washington revealed a disturbingly high rate of pesticide use, sometimes over 1200X the acceptable healthy limit. This elevated rate wasn’t limited to one or two companies. In fact, it was relatively commonplace.”

Canada

Like California, Canada has put into effect a mandatory pesticide testing for cannabis. The initial testing will be effective on January 9th, 2019.

Health Canada has issued a document listing active ingredients subject to the mandatory testing and their limits of quantification. In the document, Health Canada goes more into depth about what is being tested, reporting it, and recording the results. This is just a few of many steps to regulate what farmers/producers are putting on your cannabis. Health Canada is implementing the same testing for both fresh/dry cannabis, along with the processed oil.

According to Canada.ca;

“Test results of samples are taken during inspections with the relevant license holder. Health Canada also publishes information on all test results of samples taken during inspections on a quarterly basis as part of the Quarterly Compliance and Enforcement Report, Inspection Data Summary. Licence holders may wish to consider publishing the test results for all of their products, to promote transparency and openness.”

Smoking Pesticides and It’s Effects

In a published article by Hindawi Publishing Corporation Journal of Toxicology a study by a testing company concluded that pesticides do in fact enter your bloodstream and enter your body. It can even reach your liver, kidneys and brain. The consumer does have cause for concern, and concentrates are the biggest problem area. In the same article Miller goes on to say:

“The biggest area of concern for a consumer is hash oil concentrates. Cannabinoids share similar chemical properties to pesticides, so during the extraction process, the residual pesticides on the cannabis are concentrated along with the cannabinoids. According to the 2015 findings of Cannabis Safety Institute, concentrates contained over 10X the level of pesticides as the flower. Effects of smoking pesticides is magnified with concentrate use.”

To sum it all up, some markets have been pretty relaxed on pesticides but this looks like it’s coming to an end. Accross the board pesticide testing is on the rise, which only means good news for end consumers.. and testing facilities…

If you need any help, or have any questions feel free to reach out. We have many growers and experienced farm owners on staff, we can definitely help. Reach out over the site, or give us a call at 206-587-5874.

 

Sources

Schaneman, B. (2018, August 24). Cost of new mandatory marijuana pesticide testing tough to absorb for Colorado’s growers. Retrieved November 20, 2018, from https://mjbizdaily.com/cost-of-new-mandatory-marijuana-pesticide-testing-tough-to-absorb-for-colorados-growers/

Obama, B. H., & Kennedy, J. F. (2018, September 20). Example reference of the Scribbr APA Citation Generator for students. Retrieved November 20, 2018, from https://www.example.com/scribbr-apa-citation-generator
Pesticide Use on Marijuana. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2018, from https://agr.wa.gov/pestfert/pesticides/pesticideuseonmarijuana.aspx

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