Organic Pesticides and Cannabis Production
I’ve gotten a good amount of questions into whether or not the weed my dispensary grows uses pesticides or is organic, the majority of people inquiring getting quite unhappy with my responses. The pesticide/organic stigma is of course a carryover from more heavily regulated industries like the food industry, and unfortunately with the way that dispensaries work these days it is not quite as available of an option for the marijuana industry.
First off, noone in the recreational or medical side of marijuana sales can be actually considered organic, whether or not it technically is, because none of it has been tested by the FDA to receive that status. This brings up the question “What does that official classification actually mean?” One of the more interesting things is that if you do claim your weed is organic you can potentially be sued. There have been several dispensaries that had to change their names because they initially went with some kind of name referencing “organic,” which again they do not have clearance to use.
As far as pesticides go, the dispensary that I previously worked for did use them, much to the chagrin of many snooty customers, trying to berate me for a decision that my company made to protect their product. In the current industry, at least in Colorado, most larger scale producers have to use pesticides on their product because of their scale alone. The goal for many dispensaries is always to expand into larger and larger grows, so as to minimize loss pesticides are a necessary “evil,” as one plant getting sick in a hundred plus plant grow can be devastating to the entire environment if not treated. As far as I know the only dispensaries I’ve heard of not using any pesticides are primarily the smaller, medical only locations.
These conversations are always hilarious to me. It makes me wonder how much stock people put into labels and ingredient listings, and how much they actually know about the production of products they take to be the “clean” ones they pride themselves on maintaining consumption of. And on that note, some people that I know have been smoking for years previous to any kind of regulated cannabis, in which case there is a good chance they’ve had something with pesticides used on it, or that wouldn’t technically count as organic just because of how it was grown, not to mention I’ve heard a ton of stories about growing amazing weed with just Miracle Gro.
At the end of the day, pesticides are necessary for full sized production facilities, and the CDPHE is very involved in making sure that everything used is above board, limiting the useable pesticide brands to six that are allowed to be used in growing marijuana, I believe. Not to mention no matter what is used in the product’s production should be flushed out before curing, unless the growers literally don’t know what they’re doing, and that stuff is instantly recognizable, it will make you want to die.
I’m not saying don’t inform yourself to the specifics of your dispensaries products, but don’t look down on me if I tell you there are pesticides used during production, you made this industry what it is. Not to mention there’s probably toxic dust in every inch of air that exists outside of a can.