With the relatively recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado, it only stands to reason that there is bound to be legislative snags along the way. A recent issue brought into the limelight is the use of pesticides in the marijuana dispensaries. Denver is doing its’ due diligence with respect to inspection of these dispensaries as they search for compliance with regulated growing standards of the cannabis plant. In 2016, there have been recalls of various marijuana goods produced from more than 25 different manufactures. The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has clearly outlined fewer than 200 acceptable pesticides of the nearly 12,000 currently registered with the CDA.
Today’s culture is health conscious and meticulous about self-educating regarding food additives. However, the newly emerging market of cannabis products prompts a reliance of trust on government controls. Considering the recent wave of recalls and plant confiscation, it is obvious the CDA is taking its job seriously. This is excellent news for consumers. Whether marijuana is used for medical reasons or for recreational purposes, there is a need for vigilant regulation for this budding business.
Some businesses advertised their products as organic. “Organic” is a buzz word that connotes healthier than non-organic. People are willing to pay 3 or 4 times more for a product tagged as organic. To be deemed truly organic, the product must be grown without the use of pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), or synthetic fertilizers. Many Colorado marijuana businesses have eliminated the claim to organic processing, due to the possibility of a hefty $10,000 fine if an inspection renders their product non-organic.
While California was the first state to sanction the sale and use of medical marijuana, Colorado and Washington were the first two to legalize its recreational purposes. All three states are serving as role models for other states considering legislative changes involving cannabis products. It is therefore, essential, that these states demonstrate that all facets of the business are held accountable for consumer safety. State and local government must be ever present with regards to inspections. This means that there must be constant evolution in the testing process. Inspecting plants and other cannabis products involves testing for pesticides, harmful additives, cannabinoids, solvents, or other impurities. As a society, we would not accept and ingest an untested product without the assurance of its public safety. History has shown us all the devastating effects of naiveté with the (once believed) harmless cigarette. Colorado marijuana is strictly tested and laws are enforced to protect both medical and recreational users. They are setting an example that other states may deem worthy of following. And in doing so, hopes are that the decriminalization of marijuana may spread to those states still holding on to old values.