Colorado proposes regulation of pesticides for growing pot

State regulators have proposed rules that would further restrict which pesticides can be used to grow marijuana to those that are least harmful and already are allowed on crops intended for human consumption and tobacco.

The draft rules mark the state’s latest effort in a process that began about two years ago but has dragged on amid industry pressure and lack of guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency…

The proposal would limit allowable pesticides to those so nontoxic they do not need to be registered with the federal government or those so safe to use that no residue level needs to be determined…

“The licensed marijuana industry and the state of Colorado are all stuck in the same dilemma in that pesticide regulations are controlled by federal law, and the federal government refuses to provide guidance,” said Michael Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group…

If passed, the suggested rules would be a marked change in how the state has treated pesticides on cannabis for the past two years, which has been to allow those whose warning labels are so broadly written it would not be a violation to use them. That included a number of pesticides with tolerance limits established for certain food crops but whose safety on marijuana was unknown.

Under the new rules, which also would apply to hemp growers, only those pesticides exempt from any tolerance limits could be used, and they must be allowed on crops intended for human consumption by the EPA…

The issue of pesticides on pot has been contentious since at least 2012, when state inspectors first noticed marijuana grow operations were using them.

With no federal guidance on how to regulate them and an industry reluctant to accept limitations on what could be used, state officials waffled over what to do and made pesticide enforcement a low priority…

In other words, state politicians are as incompetent as the Congressional flavor. Same response to even a moderate question — let’s run and hide, try not to do anything useful in case we screw up. Chickens have come home to roost.

There is no problem utilizing vegetable crop regulations for a start. Much like the quandary faced by fish farms, there should be an easy market solution which includes verification of organic qualification. A certain portion of the populace will buy the cheapest weed regardless of pesticide treatment. We are talking, after all, about half the market being smokers. The rest will often opt for organic.

None of this is rocket science. The problem is the politicians not the task of constructing useful regulations.