The use of pesticides on cannabis plants has increasingly become a health concern in states that have legalized marijuana, and regulations can be murky. The Network recently received a request from an individual looking for information on state regulations related to pesticide application on cannabis plants.
The requestor was provided with three resources:
- A fact sheet developed by the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, answering frequently asked questions about the application of cannabis. For example:
- How have states regulated pesticide use on cannabis plants? No jurisdiction has prohibited pesticide application on cannabis plants, but several states have banned certain active ingredients, limited application to state-approved pesticides, and set tolerance levels (i.e. maximum residue amount) for approved pesticides.
- What does the cannabis industry recommend in terms of regulation of cannabis pesticides? The Cannabis Safety Institute, an industry-sponsored scientific organization, recommends that state regulators:
- Restrict pesticide use to products that pose a minimal risk;
- Research and develop plant-specific evidence about pesticide tolerances, application and exposure on cannabis;
- Require cannabis testing facilities to secure accreditation;
- Encourage third-party organic certification;
- Adopt broad, non-exclusive labeling language.
- A publication entitled “Technical Report: Oregon Health Authority’s Process to Determine Which Types of Contaminants to Test for in Cannabis Products, and Levels for Action,” produced by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The report describes the process the Oregon Health Authority followed to establish the list of contaminants for cannabis testing. It also describes how OHA established an action level for each of these contaminants.
- A fact sheet, “Regulation of Pesticide Application on Cannabis,” produced by the Network detailing the background and state regulation of cannabis pesticides.
Network attorneys are available to answer questions on this and other public health topics at no cost to you, and can assist you in using law to advance your public health initiatives. Contact a Network Attorney in your area for more information.
The legal information and assistance provided in this document does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.