Washington was one of the first states where voters decided to legalize cannabis – and now they are the first state to create a certification process for organic cannabis. Governor Inslee signed this single marijuana-related bill into law this week, but this one bill covers a surprising amount of ground. Rather than going on record approving multiple marijuana-related bills, lawmakers chose to put multiple provisions into a single bill – including the start of organic cannabis certification, officially allowing people to “gift” or share their marijuana, and opening the door to allowing home grows and legalizing industrial hemp.
The new certification program is going to be under the administration of the Washington Department of Agriculture and will create a process by which cannabis is tested and certified to be pesticide, fungicide and otherwise chemical free – but since the federal government oversees all things organic they will have to come up with something else to call their organic cannabis.
This is something that Washington lawmakers have been considering for quite some time now – at least as far back as last fall – and it is definitely influenced by the customers buying cannabis. With no regulations in place, companies are able to claim their cannabis is organically grown, even if they do use chemicals on their crops. This new system will ensure that people can trust that the products they are buying are truly pesticide and fungicide free. The program will be voluntary, so there is no requirement for cannabis companies to go through certification – unless they want to claim to be whatever the new organic equivalent is.
“This is consumer-driven,” Rivers told Reuters by phone on Tuesday night. “As we have moved forward in the legal marijuana market, we’re hearing people say, ‘We don’t want any pesticides, fungicides, none of that stuff in our weed.’”
The issue of pesticide use in cannabis is certainly one that has come up a lot recently as more and more states move towards a policy of legalization and regulation – even in states where only medical cannabis is legal. Unfortunately, until there are regulations in place to prove that cannabis is being grown properly (such as random testing being done in some states) there isn’t much that can be done about companies who make claims that their products are organically grown – even when they are not.