Know Your State’s Pesticide Regulation for Cannabis Products

 In Cannabis Business

The greatest danger in the cannabis business is not what you don’t know, it’s what you think you know where the real danger lies.

It is becoming more apparent with each passing day that the United States is walking a fine line with cannabis regulations.  The individual states are asking for legalization to explore possible medical uses for its citizens.  Yet with each state, there are individual regulations put in place.  These regulations are created through the Bureau of Cannabis Control, its agents work diligently as best they can and they should be commended for their dedication. These regulations protect their neighbors and fellow citizens from adulterants and contaminates as well as specifying the dosages and labeling.  However, this is not a uniform plan for the United States of America.

Canadians have put considerable effort into studying the industry and then put in place regulations that are uniform across the nation.  Are they perfect or the same as other countries that have national programs?  No, they do not fit either of those criteria.

A simple question for United States citizens: “Do you think that the cannabis products you are purchasing from dispensaries are pesticide free?”

A follow-up question:  “Knowing that each state has different pesticides they regulate and many times at different levels, are the products only free of the pesticides that are being tested?”

Does a healthy plant need pesticides?

If you could choose between a healthy plant that is pesticide free, and one that had appropriate application of pesticides, which would you choose?

This an unfair question really for the people living in or visiting the United States.  The companies that provide pesticides, insecticides and fungicides have regulations and use standards for what products they can be applied to, as well as when and how.  This is a rare situation for cannabis crops.

What about plants that have a trace amount of contaminates and have similar solubility of the terpenes and cannabinoids?  When “concentrated” by extraction techniques, they will co-extract.

What if, by law, in one state a pesticide is not required to be tested?  What if, by law, it falls outside of the pesticides decided upon to be tested.  What about the ones that are in a state and are required to be tested?  Just because it is not required to be tested, is it still possible to be detrimental to the patient’s health?

What if there are pesticides present, but not required to be reported, is the product “pesticide free”?  It could be seen that way by the state regulations.

As you visit different states and purchase products from dispensaries, you need to be aware that those products may possibly not be of the same quality as the products from the state you are from.  In some cases, it could be better.

People purchasing products at a dispensary should ask certain questions of the people serving them.

  • What are the pesticides that are required to be tested in this state?
  • What are the current regulations for a dispensary if there are pesticides found that fall outside the state regulations?
  • What is the dispensary’s policy regarding inventory products that do or could have pesticides in them?

It is a responsible choice on your part based on the information you have at the time.

Truly, it is not what you don’t know, it is actually what you think you know that is the lesson for pesticides.

Long-term or short-term effects are documented for other products.

Either get a PhD in cannabis or study the regulations.  They are accessible on line or contact your state officials responsible for cannabis in your state for more help if needed.

When the next expose arrives in the local and national media – and it will, you will not be surprised or influenced by the subjective opinions, but rather be the one that knows the facts.


Determination of Pesticide Residues in Cannabis Smoke, Nicholas Sullivan, Sytze Elzinga, and Jeffrey C. Raber, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Journal of Toxicology, Volume 2013, Article ID 378168, 6 pages

Guidance for State Medical Cannabis Testing Programs, Association of Public Health Laboratories, 8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 700, Silver Spring, MD 20910, Phone: 240.485.2745 Fax: 240.485.2700 Web: (© Copyright 2016, Association of Public Health Laboratories. All Rights Reserved).

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