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Pesticide Use on Cannabis

Pesticide Use on Cannabis content piece image
Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Lotz
Legalized cannabis production is a rapidly growing agricultural industry. However, given that cannabis production has developed and operated in an unregulated setting various practices have been adopted that are at odds with accepted regulations regarding human safety and environmental impacts. Chief amongst these is the unregulated use of pesticides, which has potentially serious public health and environmental consequences. In the absence of guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency on this subject, it is critical that state regulators enact programs to protect workers, the environment, and Cannabis consumers. 

This paper presents data indicating that pesticide use is widespread in the Cannabis industry, and that pesticide residue on retail Cannabis products is often found at levels exceeding the allowable levels on any agricultural product. In addition, a set of basic recommendations is presented that will allow states to move forward safely until more detailed Cannabis--‐specific pesticide data is available.