Insects can’t get enough of marijuana. They love munching on leaves and eating through tiny, defenseless buds. That’s why growers rely on pesticides to keep their crops safe from a long list of bugs and fungus.
Many look down on the practice, claiming that the application of harsh chemicals could be making the final product less appealing for individuals with strict, organic practices. Since patients suffering from deadly illnesses partake in large doses of the medicine on a regular basis, it is vital to keep the plants as pesticide-free as possible. Another controversial aspect to the use of pesticides is industrialization. Surges in demand for high quality weed has forced cultivators to apply unconventional techniques, like using Avid and Floramite, to ensure consistent yield.
A solution to this issue could be specialty soils. Such products use all-natural, non-toxic ingredients to streamline pest management efforts. Med-X, a cannabis startup that specializes in the production of organic soils, is currently developing the technology at a rapid pace to accommodate frustrated cultivators who are looking for new pest mitigation methods. The group’s flagship offering is an insecticidal soil that can help businesses comply with the Environment Protection Agency’s guidelines on pesticide use.
Med-X is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, which allows the Los Angeles-based startup to work closely with growers in the community. All of its products from the Nature-cide line, including an all-purpose pesticide spray, has been approved for cannabis cultivation in the state of Colorado by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
Local health departments across the US are vigilantly cracking down on marijuana businesses that use illegal pesticides. Such organizations have made huge leaps in actively regulating the sector in the past year. But now, some authorities are changing the way they monitor cannabis products. Earlier this month, the Denver Department of Environmental Health announced that it will stop testing marijuana products directly in a privately owned facility. Instead, it plans to enlist help from state agencies, and hand over cannabis products that could potentially be contaminated with banned pesticides.
“We’re taking a different approach here that’s more in line with other regulated industries,” said DEH executive director Bob McDonald. “It’s always been an option for us to condemn product. That authority has always been there. But we’ve given the industry more than a year now to learn what the public health issues are. And we need to transition into more sustainable and consistent enforcement.”
Previously, the group’s pesticide program was the foundation of over 20 cannabis recalls in Colorado. Several registered growers questioned the city’s capacity to conduct lab tests, citing that the grounds for the recalls were unclear. Ultimately, the tests were designed to ensure that the products being sold in dispensaries were safe for consumption. Local authorities claim that “today’s marijuana is cleaner than it was when these enforcement actions first began in 2015.”
What do you think about pesticides being used for cannabis grows? Let us know in the comments.