Since 2015, the intersection of pesticides and cannabis has been a hot button issue. While the pesticide controversy first emerged in Colorado, a number of other markets across the country have experienced some growing pains too with marijuana pesticide. Beyond the US, License Producers (LPs) in Canada have also run into challenges. It goes without saying that marijuana cultivators should only use authorized pesticides. However, to provide the best protection for your business, it’s critical to really know your vendors.
First, if your business procures trim or flower from third party cultivators, it’s critical to ensure that this product is free of pesticides and other contaminants. Consider employing a vendor contract that clearly indicates that cultivation practices do not involve the use of unauthorized pesticides. Beyond that, go visit your cultivation partners in person. Check out their facility, look at the pesticides and other agricultural inputs that are on site – really do your homework! Beyond that, test the product that comes through your doors, even if it’s already been tested. These measures are not easy. In fact, they’re quite expensive and time consuming. However, it’s a small price to pay compared to a recall which can decimate a brand.
Outside of marijuana procurement, it’s also of critical importance to vet your vendors for other inputs you might use. This applies to a wide range of items including pesticides, fertilizers, food ingredients (if you make edibles), packaging, etc. It’s easy to forget that any number of inputs can contaminate your product. For example, last year the State of Washington Department of Agriculture identified a handful of ingredients in pesticides that were not properly disclosed on the label. As a result, cultivators unknowingly applied pesticides that they were completely unaware of. And just last week, a cultivation supply company was fined by the EPA for improperly repackaging pesticides and failing to accurately label these products.
As the industry continues to evolve, it’s critical that professionals in the industry understand the nature of the products they are using and the contents of those products. We are constantly under the microscope and must do our part to hold our vendors accountable. All it takes is a few bad apples to give the rest of the industry a bad reputation.
Yours in Compliance,