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Will California’s Pesticide Regulations Hurt the Weed Industry?

What are your thoughts on the debate?


My personal feeling is that the stricter pesticide regulations are good in this case.

The issue is that, as a crop, cannabis is not eaten like a normal crop – it’s smoked. Smoking is a chemical process that greatly increases the heat of the product. Most pesticides, even the non-harmful ones, when burned can produce some toxic, nasty fumes, the gentlest being carbon monoxide, and some of the more harmful ones include hydrogen chloride gas or hydrogen cyanide. Additionally, if you perform extractions on bud that has been exposed to intense pesticides, you end up with concentrated pesticide (or some decomposition product of the pesticide, which can be just as bad).

What we really need, when it comes to pesticides for cannabis, is for the EPA to step in and establish tolerance levels. They have the top scientists and resources the actually investigate these sorts of details. But they can’t because of federal law.

If you guys are interested, one of my older articles discusses this same stuff in Washington:


As a consumer, I’m all for strict safety regulations. I’ve had a few uncomfortable experiences with product that made my face and arms go numb for several hours. Freaked me out, and the consensus seemed to be that it was likely pesticide residue that caused it. It was a tincture, 10 mg. That was quite a few dollars spent on product I’m never going to use.

That being said, we need more and better labs!
In some of these, the test results (from what I hear) are not doing a great job at the moment, and the results are not consistent.


Agreed on the smoking vs edibles distinction for sure. I’ve noticed a difference in smoking organically grown cannabis with fewer “hangover” effects afterwards. I wonder if that is a lesser version of what you experienced @Changemaker-Lilli?


I’d really love there to be a seal or certification process, like with organic produce, where you can be pretty sure that an independent body has tested and checked their product and growing practices. With cannabis products, it’s a lot of claims from the grower/product manufacturer, so they all rush to say they’re organic and pesticide free. But the test results and exposés paint a different picture :frowning:

So as a consumer, not sure what to do to minimize one’s exposure to toxins. At least with grapes, you can wash them :smiley:


There are some voluntary certification organizations out there:

One thing I’ve asked a couple labs about is if there’s any consumer demand to know which lab your dispensary uses. They tell me there isn’t yet but they’d love there to be in the future. Maybe asking the dispensaries you visit which testing labs they use will help jumpstart that process. That way you can find out if they use a reputable lab or just the bargain basement cheapest lab that could eke out state certification.


Awesome! Thanks for sharing.


Wow. That is crazy. We have a new mite pesticide product ( that does not have any of the “contraband” ingredients that CA cares about. Wondering if there is a need for this or is the market already got its “go to” solution. Love for the group to give any feedback it might have.



If anyone is interested in an excellent article on the subject, this is what you want… Cannabis, pesticides and conflicting laws: The dilemma for legalized States and implications for public health This is a bit more historical Design considerations for legalizing cannabis: lessons inspired by analysis of California’s Proposition 19.

This is a really good, albeit less rigorous article Pesticide Use in Marijuana Production:
Safety Issues and Sustainable Options

Beyond that, here are some goodies from the California Bureau of Pesticide Regulation [“CDPR”]

Hmm…CPA and pesticide…that’s a new one.

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