Fighting Pests on Cannabis Farms the Legal Way

One of the biggest obstacles for any farming community is how to best control pests. Each plant attracts a differentcannabis business set of insects and animals and requires special care to deter wildlife from harming crops. Farmers must also take into consideration how pest-control methods could harm natural surroundings and affect the people who will consume the product. Cannabis farms are no different, though they lack the years of shared wisdom other farmers have gathered. In fact, cannabis farmers have to be even more thoughtful in some ways about what they use because their end product isn’t easily washable like an apple. Although it wouldn’t seem a cannabis attorney would be your first consult on this front, it’s worthwhile to review it with your counsel so you are sure you’re abiding local and state environmental regulations.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation, has been tasked by California’s Medicinal Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act to provide guidelines for pesticide use in cannabis farming. The department said there is not a pesticide product federally registered for use specifically for cannabis farmers. However, there are plenty of pesticides that can legally be used on cannabis so long as they meet certain criteria. According to the department, the state permits certain pesticides for use on cannabis crops that are “exempt from residue tolerance requirements and the product is either exempt from registration requirements or registered for a use that is broad enough to include use on cannabis.” Examples of substances exempt from registration would be food-grade essential oils, such as peppermint and rosemary. A full list of legal pesticides for cannabis farms is provided by the department. Warning labels on pesticide packaging also must be adhered to in regards to how much pesticide is used and how frequently it is applied to maintain safe levels.

Officials are voicing concerns over an increased use of Carbofuran, a highly toxic pesticide that’s illegal in the U.S. This type of pesticide has become popular with unlicensed marijuana farmers because of its effective pest control, but it has extremely adverse effects on wildlife and the end product. While strong pest control can be appealing, this is not a corner cannabis farmers can afford to cut. Consider this: the reason the chemical is so effective is that a single teaspoon can kill a bear. There’s a reason this pesticide is illegal and should not be trifled with. The Department of Pesticide Regulation also provides a list of pesticides, including Carbofuran, that are not permitted for use on cannabis crops.

Not only is using proper pesticides the right thing to do for the environment and your customers, it’s also the best thing for you and your business. Attorney McGregor Scott, the top prosecutor for northeastern California, has stated he intends to leave the state’s new legal recreational marijuana market alone, according to an article from The Sacramento Bee, but has his sights on those who are skirting key regulations. On a short list of his top concerns are organized crime, farming on public lands, interstate trafficking, and use of Carbofuran.

Making a quick buck today isn’t worth harming animals, putting the safety of people in jeopardy, losing your business, and facing criminal prosecution tomorrow. That’s why it’s essential that cannabis businesses learn about proper regulations, obtain licenses, and form a business plan that has longevity with the help of our skilled Riverside cannabis business attorneys. We’ll show you how to stay out of the way of the law and keep safety a top priority while still making money.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.

Additional Resources:

Use of Toxic Pesticides Increased in California’s Illegal Weed Farms, May 30, 2018, By Nick Lindsey, High Times

More Blog Entries:

One California Sheriff Warns Marijuana Users About Pesticide Dangers, June 3, 2016, Cannabis Law Group

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