Report: Dirty, Contaminated Weed Still Being Sold in Oregon

Consumer safety is an eternal concern in every legal industry. Legal marijuana is no exception. If anything, cannabis marketplace regulators have struggled to ensure products that reach consumers meet safety standards and are not tainted with potentially harmful contaminants, like pesticides and mold.

For now, cannabis users in Oregon enjoy the strictest safety standards in America—although proposed pesticide regulations in California, currently being debated and up for approval later this summer, are even stricter. Some marijuana industry figures and cannabis advocates complain that California’s proposed rules, which could cost upwards of $400 per pound of processed pot to implement, are too strict.  

But judging by the ongoing situation in Oregon, where contaminated marijuana continues to elude testing and ends up in the hands (and lungs) of consumers, standards may not be strict enough. 

Read more at High Times

Cali’s Dirty Cannabis Crisis: Popular Edibles Claimed to Be Tainted with Pesticides

About a month after California voters legalized recreational marijuana in November—creating for the state’s booming marijuana industry, already on pace to record roughly $1 billion in taxable sales that year, opportunity for stupendous growth in the near future—attorney Mark Morrison met someone he describes only as a cannabis industry “insider.” 

In the course of a “casual conversation,” Morrison says the insider shared a little secret: Most of the products sold in California’s more than 1,000 medical cannabis dispensaries are tainted with pesticides.

Medical marijuana has been legal for adults in California since 1996, and cannabis has been openly and widely available for sale in storefront retail outlets since at least the early 2000s.

Read more at High Times

Tainted: The Problem With Pot and Pesticides

Should you worry about inhaling pesticide residues on the cannabis you’re smoking? Find out how to source a safe supply of eco-friendly weed.

Old-time heads will remember the Great Paraquat Pot Scare of the late 1970s, when Mexico, as part of a US-government-backed cannabis-eradication campaign, sprayed the potent herbicide onto fields of weed destined for export to the United States. While a 1995 study found that “no lung or other injury in cannabis users has ever been attributed to paraquat contamination,” other research linked exposure to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

At the time, fear about the effects of inhaling paraquat-contaminated pot motivated back-to-the-land hippies to breed their own unique hybridized strains, and in time homegrown California cannabis largely replaced smuggled bales from south of the border in the popular consciousness. Even today, most cannabis consumers wistfully imagine that their buds hail from some wholly unspoiled remote hillside in Humboldt County. Unfortunately, that bucolic picture is far from the reality.

Read more at High Times

Is Your Cannabis Safe?

The prevalence of pesticides and contaminants in retail cannabis is one of the most important issues facing the industry. As more states require testing, the high levels of pesticides in retail products are causing alarm among consumers and regulators concerned about the potential health effects of these chemicals, especially on medical patients with compromised immune systems.

The extent of the problem was highlighted by Steep Hill Labs, a leading cannabis-testing company. It found that, if California implemented the same testing requirements adopted by Oregon, 84 percent of the products tested in the state would fail—an alarmingly high number for the country’s largest cannabis market. Nor is the pesticide problem confined to California: The Association of Commercial Cannabis Companies estimates that half of the cannabis tested around the country contains measurable levels of pesticides, though the exact number is still not known. As Jeffrey Raber, president of the ACCL, states: “Cultivating-agent contamination is a huge concern.”

Technological advances in testing have enabled us to see the true extent of the problem. As the ACCL reports, “Using state-of-the-art mass-spectrometry-based approaches, we have broadened the ability to detect more of these cultivating agents and have come to understand that this problem is larger and more complex than anyone initially suspected.”

Read more at High Times

Pesticides & Pot: In Praise of Clean Cannabis

Healthy consumption of cannabis starts with organic growing practices.

It was quite the headline News from NBC-TV last month: “Pesticides and Pot: What’s California Smoking?” A clean-cut newscaster wearing a classic suit and tie, told the tale of how their team of diligent reporters had spent three months diving deeply into the cannabis culture of Southern California. They were in search of cannabis contaminated with pesticides. Except, being NBC, they couldn’t call it, respectfully, cannabis. It was referred to as simply “pot” (said with a strong aspirated sound) or “Weeeeed.”

The I-Team uncovered a story about a patient who used a vape cartridge regularly and noticed his feet and hands going numb, as well as problems with his balance, vision and hearing. After doctors had no answers, he suspected the cannabis, and sent a cartridge of oil to Steep Hill Labs to get tested. Five different pesticides were discovered in the vape pen – including the disgusting myclobutanil (found in Eagle 20 pesticide). Myclobutani transforms into hydrogen cyanide — a known poison for centuries which can cause extreme damage to the kidneys, liver, and other organs — when heated. The chemist at Steephill reported that more than half of all cannabis related products (flowers, oils, tinctures, edibles and topicals) which they have tested recently have myclobutanil in them.

Read more at Cannabis Now

UNAPPROVED PESTICIDES, UNKNOWN CONSEQUENCES: In Canada, a Class Action Commences over Mislabeled Organic Products

The Case

A proposed class action lawsuit commenced against a New Brunswick medical cannabis production company alleging the company used unapproved pesticides. The company, unfortunately named Organigram, has used certified organic labels to sell its cannabis products to medical users. Testing Organigram’s oil and dried product, Canada’s national department for public health, fortunately named Health Canada, discovered various products contained myclobutanil and bifenazate. Neither substance has a place on the list of thirteen approved pesticides for use on cannabis in Canada. Specifically, the filing states that the positive tests proved that the products purchased failed to meet organic guidelines as advertised. However, the case’s proposed class representative also suffered nausea and vomiting for six months while using the product, which subsided a month after ceasing use, facts that could expose the company to damages for bodily injuries as well.

The Response

Read more at Dope Magazine

Pesticide Scandal Snares ‘Trailer Park Boys’-Approved Marijuana Brand

What bad joke or obvious pun are you supposed to make in a stranger-than-fiction, seriously health-threatening situation like this? We have no idea, so we’ll try to play it straight: Health Canada is now conducting random spot-checks for pesticides at all of the 38 companies it licenses to produce medical marijuana, after two companies—including the one contracted to produce marijuana with Trailer Park Boys branding—were caught using banned chemicals.

Prior to the pesticide revelations, government regulators trusted the companies they worked with so fully, they weren’t checking licensed producers for pesticides at all. How about: You’re better off with weed grown by idiots in the trailer park. No?

Both Mettrum, Ltd., and OrganiGram—the latter of which had scored the deal with the popular Canadian-grown stoner comedy—sprayed plants with the banned pesticide myclobutanil.

Read more at High Times

How To Keep Rodents Off Your Cannabis Plants Naturally

Like any other plant, cannabis needs protection from pests and vermin. But the widespread reliance on toxic chemical pesticides, especially in cultivation capitals like Humboldt, California, has had devastating environmental repercussions. Cannabis Now explores natural ways to control rodents that won’t poison the soil, groundwater, wildlife or your plants.

The widespread and often illegal use of rat poisons is devastating California’s redwood forests.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reports that the use of illegal “2nd-generation” rodenticides has injured and killed thousands of domestic and wild animals, including protected species like owls and hawks.

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